MANILA — A number of public utility vehicles (PUVs) will not be able to charge commuters the P1-2 added fare being implemented by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) when it begins on Monday, transport leaders said Sunday.
Many have not yet received their fare matrix which the LTFRB requires PUVs to post inside to avail of the additional fare, according to Lando Marquez, president of the Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP).
Marquez said nearly half of their members got their fare guides this weekend and are ready to carry out the fare hike at once.
“Ang ating LTFRB-NCR kagaya kahapon, nag-overtime sila hanggang alas-8 ng gabi, so kami po ay natutuwa naman dahil napakaganda ng patakaran nila dahil kami ay kinakausap na,” he said.
He added they expect up to 70 to 80 percent of their members to obtain their fare matrix within this week.
The fare hike covers traditional and modern jeeps, buses, taxis, and transport network vehicle services (TNVS).
Data from the LTFRB Central Office on Friday morning, the last weekday before the fare hike implementation, showed it only released 463 fare matrices or 1.18 percent of the 39,211 target vehicles.
By then, only 2,711 or 6.9 percent had applied. The LTFRB added the bulk of applications came later that day.
But PUV drivers still waiting for their operators to get fare matrices said they can handle the wait.
Jonathan Pelias, who plies the Visayas Avenue-Tandang Sora route in Quezon City, said it is fortunate gas prices have been going down.
“Basta hindi pa magdagdag ng boundary OK lang. Kasi kapag ganito may dagdag-pamasahe, dadagdag din ng boundary,” Pelias said.
Jeepney drivers usually take home the excess of their earnings after remitting a “boundary” or minimum earning to their operators.
However, Jelbert Suan, who already has his fare matrix, said the fare hike is long overdue even with the rollbacks.
“Rollback nang piso-piso, pagtaas naman, sais! Kaya masakit pa rin sa amin. Kaya hindi namin alam kung bababa o tataas ang diesel kaya malaki na ang piso na tinaas,” he said.
TRANSPORT GROUP: SIMPLIFY FARE MATRIX APPLICATIONS
Transport leader Zaldy Ping-ay, president of the Stop & Go Coalition, appealed to the LTFRB to simplify its requirements for applying for the fare matrix to speed it up.
Operators obtaining a fare matrix need to provide 4 requirements: an updated OR/CR from the Land Transportation Office; a copy of the provisional authority if pending a certificate of public convenience, an official receipt of payment, and undergo franchise verification.
Ping-ay said some of their members who applied for the fare matrix took all afternoon due to the franchise verification portion.
“Ayon sa naglalakad, ‘yong franchise verification ang nagpapatagal kasi mahaba ang pila,” he said.
“Kapag nag-submit ka na sana ng mga dokumento wala na sana ang franchise verification kasi nasa kanila naman ang record.”
After announcing the fare increase in mid-September, the LTFRB had urged PUV operators to apply for their fare matrices earlier to avoid the near-deadline rush.
Still, LTOP and other transport groups assured they have reminded their members to refrain from charging the new fares without their fare matrix.
“Mas malaki po ang kanilang babayaran na multa kaysa kanilang nakuha,” Marquez said.
PUVs caught or complained of charging the new fares without a fare matrix will be fined P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense, and P15,000 for the third offense.
Three-time violators will also lose their certificate of public conveyance.