Drivers seek fare hike due to rising fuel prices
Russia-Ukraine crisis affecting fuel cost
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Traditional and modern jeepneys were already allowed to operate on full capacity after Cebu’s quarantine status was lowered to Alert Level 2.
However, the minimum fare of P9 for traditional jeepneys and P11 for modern jeepeneys will have to stay for now, says Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. of the Central Visayas office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-7).
At present, drivers are allowed to collect P9 and P11 respectively for the first five kilometers of travel and another P1 for the succeeding kilometers.
Montealto said the lowering of the minimum fare may not possible in the coming days since there is also a pending request from PUJ and modern bus drivers and operators for another round of fare hike as a result of continuous increase in oil prices that is also affected by the ongoing armed conflict involving Russia and Urkraine.
In Cebu, gasoline is now sold for at least P66 per litter.
“Kana man gud ang plete, standardized na siya all over the country. Memorandum circular ang nagregulate ana so dili ta makachange sa plete diha-diha dayon. Naa namay requests nga ipaubos ang plete, pero naa puy request nga ipasaka,” he said.
(Minimum fare is standardized all over the country. A memorandum circular is issued if there are any changes in the fare that is why making adjustments is not easy to do. There were already those who requested for a lowering of the fare but there are also those who wanted it increased.)
Both requests, Montealto said, are still being reviewed by LTFRB.
Montealto said economic factors will surely be considered in the conduct of the review.
Prices of Petroleum Products
The pump prices of petroleum products are expected to continue rising as geopolitical tension caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis took a turn for the worse.
As of last Monday, the net cumulative increase in fuel prices so far this year has reached P10.85 a liter for diesel, P8.75 for gasoline and P9.55 for kerosene.
Prices of the global benchmark Brent crude oil on Thursday soared past $100 a barrel for the first time in more than seven years on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “military operation” in Ukraine.
Brent crude futures surged to $102 following Putin’s announcement.
The immediate impact of worsening geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine is to further raise pump prices of petroleum products in the Philippines. Latest data from the Department of Energy showed that the country imports 77.4 percent of its gasoline, 80 percent of its diesel and 84 percent of its kerosene needs.
Montealto assured that LTFRB will always try to strike a balance in order to come up with a minimum fare that is just for both the transportation sector and the commuting public.
He does not discount the possibility of a status quo on the minimum fare.
However, another round of fare hike may also be imposed if fuel prices will continue to rise in the coming days. | with a report from Inquirer.net
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