LTFRB to transport groups: Justify fare hike

by Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2012 05:22 PM | Updated as of Sep 28 2012 01:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Jaime Jacob said they will ask transport groups who attended a hearing today at the LTFRB to give a detailed justification why they are asking for a P2 fare hike from P8 to P10. 

"Kailangang ma-justify na talagang P2 yung kailangan nila. Kailangan ipakita nila yung computation kung bakit P2, kadalasan kasi pag tumaas ang gas prices, gusto rin nilang magtaas ng pamasahe. Di naman ganun ka simple, may iba pang factors. Di lang interest nila ang concern namin kundi interest ng riding public," said Jacob. 

Another important factor to consider, Jacob said, is the minimum wage. 

He said there is no automatic mechanism that when oil prices rise, fares are also increased.

"Paano na kung stable ang presyo ng gas," he asked.

But transport groups are adamant, saying it all boils down to gas prices.

"Ito pong fare petition ay para sa income ng tsuper. Ilabas mo dyan ang crudo, boundary, gastos ng driver, ano ang take home? Habang tumataas   ang presyo ng gas, nababawasan ang take home ng tsuper. Simple lang ito, huwag naman gawing kumplikado,"said Piston national president George San Mateo. 

ACTO chairman Efren de Luna said the government should come up with a standard procedure. "Kung tumaas ang presyo ng gas ng P5, may fare hike na 50 centavos, pag bumaba ng P5, bababa rin ang pamasahe ng 50 centavos," he said. 

The transport groups lamented the government is quick to lower fares but when it comes to fare hike, the process is so complicated.

"Pag pataas matagal, pag pababa mabilis, wala ng hearing," said Pasang Masda president Obet Martin. 

They also added it's so easy for oil companies to increase gas prices. "Text lang sila. Bakit kami pinapahirapan?," San Mateo said, referring to the oil companies' practice of announcing oil price adjustments via text message.