By Alexandria San Juan
Only two months after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) rolled back the minimum jeepney fare to P9, the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO) has filed another petition to bring it back to P10, the fare in October 2018.
ACTO President Efren De Luna, through a petition submitted Wednesday, asked the Board to “fully implement and observe” its resolution issued on October 2018 which made permanent the provisional P1 fare increase it imposed earlier on PUJs and approved an additional P1 for the first four kilometers, increasing the minimum fare to P10.
The fare increase was granted by the LTFRB in response to the rising pump prices and runaway inflation.
In December last year, barely a month after the new minimum fare was implemented, the Board issued a resolution lowering minimum jeepney fares to P9 amid declining fuel prices in the world market.
Based on the four-page petition signed by De Luna, and driver-operators Elmer Ergina and Modesto Orcino, the movants noted that the latest increases on prices of petroleum products, as well as basic goods and commodities, it is now difficult for the drivers and operators to make ends meet.
The petitioners also cited the recent increase in the Social Security contributions for 2019 as an additional burden to drivers and operators.
“The PUJ drivers who are providing the cheapest Transportation fare to all the commuters need to endure a daily grind of driving their PUJs for almost 14 hours a day and yet their take home earnings even fail to meet the minimum wage due to increase of diesel price,” the petitioners said.
Aside from the price increase on petroleum products, petitioners added that the mandatory discounts on fares of senior citizens, PWDs, students, and AFP personnel “also contribute to the reduction of their earnings” since majority of the passengers comes from the said sectors.
They also cited the “monstrous heavy traffic” as limiting the operation of the PUJ drivers and also increasing their diesel consumption.