The offices of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) were brimming with public utility vehicle (PUV) operators rushing to get a fare matrix on the first day of the implementation of the approved fare hike Monday.
At the end of the day, only 10% out of the 260,000 units nationwide were able to get a fare matrix.
The fare matrix is a requirement by the LTFRB for the PUVs before they charge the passengers the newly approved fare rates. However, getting one is not that instant.
The operators must prepare the units’ OR/CR, a copy of a Provisional Authority or Certificate of Public Convenience, and a proof that the CPC went through verification process. These steps must be done at the LTFRB offices.
The operators will pay a one-time fee of P520 for the processing of the new fare matrix, and another P50 for the copy of the fare guide. The fare guide must be displayed inside the vehicles or else the drivers cannot charge them with the new fare rates.
“Mahigpit po tayo diyan. Ang fare matrix niyan ay hindi lang naman Ibinibigay yan out of kaartehan lang ng ltfrb o gusto lang namin gawin yan, nirerequire namin yan as a protection ng mga pasahero we want to make sure yung mga nagooperate ngayon sa kalsada ay hindi colorum,” LTFRB Chairperson Atty Cheloy Garafil said.
The length of the process depends on the availability of the documents submitted, number of applicants and units, and the crowd at the time of the application.
LTFRB said they have urged the operators to get the fare matrix two weeks ago. The office opened its services this weekend in anticipation of last-minute applicants.
“Mahilig talaga tayo sa last minute. After ng announcement namin ng fare hike, mga one or two days after sinabi na namin na kumuha na sila ng fare matrix,” Garafil said.
Some operators regret the decision to get a fare matrix on the day of the fare hike implementation.
"Antay antay lang po talaga yung process po na pipila ka sa assessment sa cashier sa receiving tapos dito sa releasing sayang nga po kaya kanina pa po ako maaga dito gusto ko makuha ng maaga kaya lang ang nakalagay sa stub ko hapon pa,” Racquel Magrata said.
Magrata is asking for over 60 fare matrices for modernized jeepneys. Magrata said she queued at the LTFRB office as early as 7 in the morning last Thursday, Friday and today the first day of fare hike implementation.
While others are pissed that they learned late that there was already a fare hike decision. Oscar Mateo said it would have been easier if only LTFRB could streamline the process.
"Pagod na pagod ako eh! Hindi dapat ganyan!… Mag-aapply ka pa kukuha ka pa run kukuha ka pa franchise verification eh legal naman eh magkakadoble-doble redundancy ng trabaho hindi ganun kung ano na ano!” Mateo said.
LTFRB is expecting more operators in the next few weeks. The regulatory board warned that the public utility vehicles that will charge the passenger with new rates, sans the fare matrix, will be slapped a fine of P5,000 to P15,000 and a possibility of the involved vehicle being impounded.