Thursday, March 22, 2007

Minimum jeepney fare in Region 10 reduced to P6.00

CAGAYAN DE ORO JOURNAL (Ben Balce / March 22) Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday announced a provisional decrease in jeepney fares in Northern Mindanao by an average of 50 centavos.

This means the fare is now down from P6.50 to P6 for the first four kilometers.

LTFRB chair Thompson Lantion made the announcement when he met with local transport leaders during a consultation last Wednesday, March 21, 2007.

Mandangan Darimbang, LTFRB director for Region 10, said the adjustment was based on the fuel-price decreases since January.

It was the Transport Federation of Cagayan de Oro (Trafeco), the biggest organization of jeepney, van and taxi owners and drivers here, that asked the LTFRB to lower the fares, said Darimbang.

“Desisyon kini mismo sa among grupo nga mag-petition mi for a decrease sa pletehan,” said Trafeco president Virgilio Valmoria.

Valmoria cited several reasons, one of which was the LTFRB decision to stop imposing the P3-thousand penalty on jeepney operators who failed to renew their LTFRB papers.

“We are helping the LTFRB because they also approved our request to reduce the penalties,” said Valmoria.

Second, Valmoria said, the group was dismayed because many passengers only pay P6 despite the P6.50 minimum fare.

”Mao ra man gihapon, maningil mi ug P6.50, P6 ra gihapon ang itunol sa pasahero. Mas maayo na lang nga i-P6 sirado lang ang minimum (fare) para di mi masakitan,” said Valmoria.

LTFRB will be giving the jeepney operators fare matrices for free. In the past, LTFRB imposed fees in exchange for fare matrices.

Trafeco said it would help the government in making sure that the adjustments are made in the jeepney fares under a campaign called Bantay Pasahe.

Lantion said the LTFRB would conduct another hearing on whether the jeepney fare would be pegged as is or adjusted. A decision would be made in July.

“It will really depend on the market forces by the time.” he said.

Parallel to the decrease of jeepney fares is the decrease in special privilege fares for senior citizens, students and the disabled also at 50 centavos. The minimum fare for these people is now pegged at P5 for the first four kilometers.

Darimbang said the jeepney fares in the region would remain the same as long as the average price of fuel is below P39. if the prices shoot to P39 or more, the fares would be increased based on the agreement, he said.

Lantion also took time to look into the long drawn-out dispute between the Rural Transit of Mindanao (RTMI) and Super 5 over the issue of undercharging.

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