LTFRB presents proposed fare rollback

By Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2012 10:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 02 2012 01:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has presented its proposed changes to leaders of transport groups. These include making the fare discount for students permanent.

Right now, the discount is only given when there are classes.

But jeepney operators are against the changes, especially the proposal to implement the discount even during weekends and the corresponding penalties for drivers and operators who refuse to do so.

"Kami na nga magbibigay ng discount kami pa parurusahan... pati weekend, eh panggugulang na ‘yon," said Efren de Luna of Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO).

Taxi operators add passengers can easily pretend to be students just to avail of the discount.

"Natitiyak mo ba na naka-enroll pa yon kahit may ID?" said Leonora Naval of the Association of Taxi Operators in Metro Manila

The National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection also plans to file a petition for a rollback in bus fares.

But bus operators say there's not enough reason to lower fares.

"Forty percent ng gastos ang fuel," said Audi Secerio of Pamana Bus Lines.

"Kung pagbaba lang ng fuel not enough basis dahil ang taas taas ng presyo ng spare parts," said Grace Aducul of the Metro Bus Transport Club.

The LTFRB says it is ready to listen to transport groups.

But the regulatory board also believes the consecutive fuel price rollbacks have helped ease drivers' burden.

"We are leaning towards a reduction, transport groups will have to prove if spare parts cost rising," said LTFRB Chairman James Jacob.

Next week, the LTFRB will tackle petitions for lower fares for jeepneys, buses, and taxis.

The LTFRB plans to decide on the petitions at the same time as they all state the same argument --- the recent rollbacks in fuel prices.