LTFRB mulls automatic fare adjustment

By: Futch Anthony Inso November 04,2018 - 09:37 PM

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is planning to implement an automatic fare adjustment based on the prevailing price of fuel.

“Secretary (Arthur) Tugade has an idea, to make it fixed. If there is an increase (on the price of fuel), there will be an automatic corresponding increase in the fare,” according to LTFRB-Central Visayas (Region 7) Director Eduardo Montealto Jr.

For instance, Montealto explained, that if fuel companies will impose a P2 increase in fuel, there will also be an automatic equivalent increase in the fare.

“So there will be a tariff or a bracket,” Montealto explained, adding that through this proposal, public utility vehicle (PUV) operators will no longer need to file a petition for fare increase.

“It’s a good idea, but they are still studying it and a memorandum should also be issued if ever they will be implementing this,” he added.

This developed at as LTFRB-7 approved at its level on October 29 the petition for a provisional fare hike filed by the Basak Lapu-Lapu City Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (Balacjoda).

Montealto, however, refused to divulge the recommended amount of increase that they approved while waiting for the final decision of their main office in Manila.

“We have already submitted the petition (for fare hike) in Manila. We had a recommendation, but I cannot disclose it for now. It’s a win-win-solution; we haven’t approved the original amount that they were asking,” Motealto revealed.

Balacjoda has earlier asked for a P2.50 fare increase for its member-operators of public utility jeepneys (PUJs).

The group has cited the rising prices of fuel, rising cost of spare parts, and rising inflation as among the reasons why they asked for a provisional fare increase.

Montealto said they also need to consider the interests of the passengers in approving the petition.

He added their main office in Manila might issue a decision on the petition after ten days.

Montealto said they would be sending today additional documents to Manila in order to justify their decision at the regional level and so that the central office could easily come up with a decision.

“We have data coming from Neda (National Economic Development Authority) about inflation and we have also certification coming from DOE (Department of Energy) on the increases on price of fuel,” he added.

The recommendation was sent to the LTFRB central office even if oil companies have rolled back the prices of petroleum products.

The agency has also interviewed other stakeholders, specifically the passengers, especially that they were not well represented during the public consultation that LTFRB-7 has conducted last October 15.

Montealto, however, explained that since the petition is only provisional, the agency can easily lift its implementation if they see the needs, especially if the price of fuel would continue to go down.

“A petition is no longer needed in lifting this (the provisional fare increase),” he said.

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TAGS: adjustment, automatic, fare, LTFRB, mulls

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