Press Release
June 8, 2022


Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to immediately review the petition to increase the minimum fare of public utility jeepneys to help boost the earnings of the drivers amid the rising fuel prices.

The Senator made the statement after jeepney drivers expressed worry about losing income due to the prolonged period of fuel price hikes as well as free rides from the government.

"Dapat timbangin mabuti ang petisyon sa taas-pasahe. Noong 2018 pa nuwebe pesos ang minimum fare. Doble na ang itinaas sa presyo ng krudo, marapat lang siguro na pakinggan ang hinaing ng ating mga tsuper," she said.

"Bakit nga naman mamamasada pa kung mapupunta lang ang kikitain sa pagpapakarga ng krudo at wala nang maiuuwi sa pamilya? Huwag nating hayaan na mangyari ito sa kanila," she said.

Hontiveros said that the Department of Transportation (DoTr) already knew that a P6500 fuel subsidy for PUJs would be good for only a month, yet in mid-March, the agency agreed with the recommendation of the economic managers to repress transport fares that have been stuck at their present levels since 2018, when diesel prices were only half of what they are today.

"Ang kalihim ng DoTr mismo ang nagsabi nung mid-March na sapat lang sa isang buwan ang P6,500 subsidy sa Pantawid Pasada. Pero limang buwan nang patuloy na tumataas ang presyo ng krudo. Kung walang gagawing aksyon, hindi lang mga tsuper ang mawawalan, kundi ang mga pasahero na umaasa sa kanila," Hontiveros stated.

Earlier, Hontiveros had been calling on the government to install a more sustainable solution to the rising petroleum prices directly affecting the transportation sector. Likewise, she warned that drivers will stop plying the roads as the one-time fuel aid is insufficient to keep the transport sector running.

Hontiveros reiterated her call to immediately earmark the excise tax on fuels to improve the public transport system and fund the service contracting program.

"Kapag mahal ang presyo ng petrolyo, dapat kasabay na pinalalaki ang service contracting kasama ang fare adjustments. As much as I don't want to point fingers, I would like to call out the economic managers for undermining the fare adjustment process at the LTFRB. This has caused unnecessary distress to drivers and is now endangering the viability of the transport system," she concluded.

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