AMID the continued increase in fuel prices, the Cebu Integrated Transport Cooperative (Citrasco) has decided to petition for a P 3.50 fare hike.
Citrasco’s original plan was to ask for a P12.50 minimum fare for jeepneys but they lowered it to P10.
Citrasco Chairman Ryan Benjamin Yu told CDN that they will file their fare hike petition on Friday before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-7.
“Before we are asking for P12.50 minimum fare in jeepneys, but we’ve decided to lower it down to P10.00 so that the commuters will not suffer from it,” Yu said.
Last month, the Basak Lapu-Lapu City Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (BALACJODA) filed a fare hike petition before LTFRB-7, asking for an increase of P12.00 on the minimum fare for jeepneys in Central Visayas.
LTFRB Regional Director Ahmed Cuizon said that they are still waiting for the petition of Citrasco to be filed in their office before scheduling a public hearing for the fare hike petitions.
Fuel prices have been steadily going up since January partly because of the increase of fuel prices in the world market and partly because of the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law.
Yu estimated that jeepney drivers are now earning less than P300 per day and decreasing every week.
Department of Energy (DOE) regional director, Engr. Saul Gonzales said that since other nations are still experiencing winter, demand on fuel will continue to rise.
“We are adding excise tax, depending on how much the price of fuel is. If the price of fuel becomes higher, then the government will be collecting also a higher excise tax on the product,” Gonzales said.
Meanwhile, Cuizon said they will soon schedule a calibration of taxi meters after the approval by the LTFRB of the petition for an increase in taxi rates last October
He said they have not been able to implement the increase and subsequently the meter calibration because some of the conditions required of taxi operators have not yet been complied with, among these are the installation of Wi-Fi, CCTV, dashboard camera (dash cam) and GPS.
But Richard Cabucos, president of Metro Cebu Taxi Operators’ Association (MCTOA), said it is hard to purchase dash cams capable of recording for 72 hours, which is among the specifications required by the LTFRB.
“LTFRB-7 has recommended a supplier but they don’t sell the dash cam. Instead they only want us to rent the gadget for P2,700 per month for one taxi unit. We would prefer to buy the item instead of renting it,” Cabucos said.
Cuizon however said, “The board has decided to compromise. Instead of 72 hours recording time of dash cams, what is required now is only 24 hours. But the minute that the recording hours would be consumed, operators have to save these recordings on their computer within 30 days,” Cuizon added.
Also, instead of purchasing a CCTV and dash cams, operators may purchase any of these, given that the gadget has a two-way camera that can record the front and inside portion of the taxi unit.