The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) today announced the granting of fare hike for PUJs (public utility jeepney) subject to certain conditions to protect the welfare of the commuting public and other passengers that will be most affected by the fare adjustment.

The Board, after denying several petitions earlier filed by various PUJ groups due to lack of merit, carefully studied a National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) analysis on the impact of the proposed fare hike in making the decision.

“As part of the Board’s authority to regulate transport fare, we considered not only the welfare of the PUJ drivers but of the general public, especially the low and middle income classes who will be directly affected the most,” LTFRB chairman Atty. Winston Ginez said.

Adopting a formula in computing the fare increase using a cost recovery method and combining it with NEDA’s socio-economic analysis, the Board, according to Ginez, finds that there is factual basis for a reasonable increase in PUJ fare rates.

As of early this month, the Department of Energy (DOE) monitored the average diesel pump price based on the lowest retail prices at Php43.44/liter, indicating an increase in average diesel pump price of P5.69/liter from 2011 to 2014.

Based on the cost recovery method of computation, PUJ engine fuel consumption is approximately pegged at 6kph/liter and at an average of ten (10) passengers per trip. The calculation shows that an increase of P.379 for the first four kilometer is necessary to allow PUJ driver’s recover the additional expenses in fuel.

“Balansehin po natin ang interes ng lahat. Tulad ng commuters, may mga pangangailangan din ang ating jeepney drivers,” Ginez said.

The calculation validates NEDA’s analysis that a reasonable adjustment in the minimum fare amounts to P0.50.

“In making this decision, we judiciously balance the rights of the commuting public who are mostly dependent on public land transportation system vis-à-vis the rights of the PUJ operators and drivers,” Ginez said.

Fare hike implementation

The fare increase, which will be effective starting June 14, 2014 will be P0.50 for the first four kilometers or from P8.00 to P8.50; and P0.10 for every succeeding kilometer or from P1.40 to P1.50, subject to certain conditions.

“Ang fare hike na ito ay pinag-aralan naming mabuti at sa pakikipagpulong sa iba’t ibang stakeholders upang matukoy ang makatuwirang pagtataas ng pamasahe,” Ginez said.

Under the new fare matrix, children less than 1 meter in height shall be transported free of charge and those from 1 to 1.30 meters in height shall pay half fare. PUJ operators shall provide an adequate place in their units the necessary markings for verifying the heights of children entitled to free or half fare.

Qualified Senior Citizens, students and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) utilizing PUJ services must also be given 20 percent fare discount.

The Board will issue and distribute copies of approved fare matrix free of charge to all heads of the transport groups for distribution to their members, including PUJ operators and drivers.

LTFRB is strictly ordering all PUJ operators and drivers in the National Capital Region, Regions 3 and 4 to conspicuously display the fare matrix in the interior part of their PUJ units.

“Hindi po pwedeng maningil ng karagdagang pamasahe sa mga mananakay ang mga jeepney na hindi magpapaskel ng approved fare matrix; eto po ang magiging basehan ng publiko sa kanilang pagbabayad ng tamang pamasahe,” Ginez said.

“We strongly urge the commuting public to report drivers who fail to conspicuously display the new are matrix, or sobra ang sinisingil na pamasahe,” Ginez said.

He said complaints and reports can be posted in LTFRB Facebook page ‘LTFRB Citizen Enforcer’ or they can tweet the chairman for comments at “@LTFRB_CHAIRMAN”

Law enforcement personnel of the Board, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), will apprehend PUJ drivers who fail to follow the conditions stipulated under the new fare matrix.

Ginez warned jeepney drivers to strictly observe the conditions in implementing the minimum fare adjustment. “Pinapalalahan namin ang mga jeepney drivers na sundin ang mga kundisyon sa pagpapatupad ng bagong pamasahe para naman hindi magkaroon ng kalituhan sa publiko, otherwise we will penalize them accordingly,” Ginez said. “Sa mga operators naman, huwag na po nating itaas ang boundary ng ating mga tsuper upang makuha nila ang buong benepisyo ng fare hike.”

Source: LTFRB