LTFRB: Many transport issues to be decided by next admin

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2022 08:59 PM

MANILA — Two days before the inauguration of president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Tuesday that it is leaving it up to the incoming administration to decide on some pending issues.

One major issue, the jeepney’s fare hike petition, was heard Tuesday morning and is now submitted for resolution. 

But the LTFRB said it will come up with a decision before the next chief steps in. 

Some jeepney groups are seeking a P2 increase in the minimum fare nationwide. If approved, the minimum fare in NCR, Regions 3 and 4 will be raised to P11 because the LTFRB approved already a P1 increase only recently or on June 8. 

The minimum fare in other regions would be increased to P9.50 from P7.50 if the petitions get approved.

“It’s really very hard for the board na maglabas ng ganitong decision (to release a decision like this) in terms with what’s happening right now because it will impact not only the drivers and operators but also the commuters, as well may impact sa inflationary," LTFRB Executive Director Ma. Kristina Cassion said. 

"Lahat ng ito ay kailangan i-balanse ng board. We don't want na kami ang contributory factor na magkaroon ng economic crisis sa bansa," she added.

(All of these need to be balanced by the board. We don't want to be a contributory factor to an economic crisis in the country.)

Groups from Transport Network Vehicles, taxis, and provincial and metro buses also have pending petitions, which the LTFRB says will be passed on to the next board.

“It would be unfair for the board na mag-decision pabigla-bigla. (Biglaan) na decision-making will also burden the next board. Kailangan kasi when we come up with a decision, i-exhaust lahat ng studies,“ Cassion said.

(It would be unfair for the board to decide hastily. Rushed decision-making will also burden the next board. We need to exhaust all studies before we come up with a decision.)

During the en banc hearing, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) explained that even a P1 increase in transport fares would push a 0.3 percent rise in the inflation rate, which means a higher fare would cause an upside risk to inflation.

“We just recommended that we take a holistic view of what the government is doing to help the transport sector and to balance also interest,” NEDA Director Reynaldo Cancio said.

The government has laid down solutions to mitigate the impact of high oil prices on the transportation sector. 

However, funds are running out as the Duterte administration ends. 

One of the solutions is the fuel subsidy, which some jeepney drivers said they have yet to receive. The next tranche scheduled next month would also depend on the Marcos government.

“On the second tranche of fuel subsidy, we will leave it to the next admin kasi (because) the pronouncements were given by current economic managers. In the Marcos administration, we do not really know right now. But to be safe, we will leave it up to the next admin,” LTFRB's Cassion said.

Extending the free rides for the passengers will also depend on the next administration. 

Only the EDSA bus carousel and the Commonwealth route will be extended until July 31.

Marcos picked Cheloy Garafil to be the next LTFRB chair.

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