Public transport drivers gave mixed reactions to the government’s decision to raise fares amid fuel price hikes.
In a “24 Oras Weekend” report by Vonne Aquino on Saturday, jeepney driver Julie Acierto said the fare hike would add about P100 to his daily income of P400.
However, some drivers thumbed down the increase.
“Pasahero naman ang mahihirapan, hindi naman kami. Kapag itinaas ang piso, boundary naman namin ang itataas. Huwag na lang itaas ang pamasahe, ‘yung krudo na lang ang ibaba,” Rizalino Manangkil said.
(Passengers will be carrying the burden, not us drivers. If the fare is increased by P1, our boundary rates will also increase. Do not raise the fare, but lower the crude prices.)
“Instead of raising the flagdown rate, I think it would be better to lower the boundary rate. If the flagdown rate is increased, fewer passengers will ride in taxis,” taxi driver Rommel Bueno added.
Commuters, meanwhile, are now planning to cut their travel expenses due to the fare hike.
Starting October, a P1 provisional increase in the minimum fare will be implemented for the first four kilometers of travel in both traditional and modern jeepneys, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Friday.
For public utility buses, the LTFRB approved a P2 uniformed base fare hike for city and provincial buses for the first five kilometers and the succeeding kilometer fare increase of P0.35 to P0.50 depending on the type of bus.
The flagdown rate for taxis and TNVS was also adjusted upwards by P5.
Some transport groups welcomed the fare increases.
“Even if only P1 was added, we would get something in the succeeding kilometer. That would be beneficial because we earned P12 in our first four kilometers. This favors those who have long routes, said ALTODAP president Boy Vargas.
“The government should act on the high taxes on petroleum products. A P1 increase would be useless if taxes on petroleum products continued to increase,” said Piston president Mody Floranda.
The LTFRB earlier said that it recognized the need for a fare increase following the continuing rise in oil prices.
The agency said it consulted the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Energy on the matter.