Cut down on spending: How commuters in Cebu cope with P1-fare hike
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Students like Lovely Grace Valle and Christy Mary Matus commute on a daily basis to attend classes.
With the P1-fare hike in effect, both Lovely Grace and Christy must find ways to budget their daily allowance — even if it means cutting down on spending, including on food.
Beginning last October 8, the regular fare for traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJs) has increased from P11 to P12. For modern PUJs, the rate has risen from P13 to P14.
Cutting down spending
Christy usually spends no more than P30 to commute daily between her home and university in Cebu City. She told CDN Digital that she understood the need for the regulator to implement a P1-increase in jeepney fare.
“Kasabot man sad ko nga lisod gyud ron panahona, and gaprovide pud sila (jeepney drivers and operators) sa ilang family,” she said.
(I understand that times are difficult and they also provide (jeepney drivers and operators) for their family.)
However, Christy admitted that she would need to cut her expenses to cushion the impact of the fare hike, like bringing lunch to school instead of buying in canteens and carenderias.
“Siguro i-lessen na lang nako akong gasto sa food kay mao may dako gyud og kuha sa akong allowance. And sometimes magbring ko og akong own lunch para ang plete na lang pud akong gastohan,” she said.
(Perhaps, I will just lessen my expenses on food because that is the biggest cut of my allowance. And sometimes, I will just bring my own lunch so that only the fare will be my expenses.)
Priorities get share of allowance
Lovely Grace Valle also shared the same experience with Christy.
Like Christy, Lovely Grace has begun slashing expenses if it meant budgeting her allowance for priorities like school project needs and commute.
“Tipid tipid sa paggasto labi na sa mga unnecessary nga paliton para kaigo ang allowance sa pletihan sad,” she said.
(I will just have to be more thrift in my spending especially on unnecessary things that will affect my budget and this also includes my fare.)
Lovely Grace spends at least P50 every day to commute from her home to her school in Bogo City, and vice-versa.
Even employees like Decemay Padilla also felt the pinch of the fare hike on her finances.
And as with Lovely Grace and Christy, Decemay, who works as a journalist for a Cebu-based radio station, had to carefully budget her wage now that the PUJ fare has increased.
“Dili na lang magpataka og gasto. Like if unsa ray importante kaayo maoy unahon,” she said.
(I will not have to spend unwisely. Like, if what are those important will be the priority.)
Due to successive oil price hikes in the past weeks, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) decided to impose a P1-provisional jeepney fare increase.
No new fare matrixes will be enforced.
The increase will only affect the base fare, and not the succeeding kilometers.
The LTFRB noted 11 consecutive weeks wherein oil firms implemented increases in fuel products.
Help commuters, improve public transpo
While Lovely Grace, Christy, and Decemay accepted the government’s decision to do a fare increase, all three hoped measures will also be introduced to address the effects of oil price increase on commuters.
“Akong panawagan sa kani na problem na unta ilang huna-hunaon ang kahimtang sa katawhan, nga paubsan nila ang prices sa daily necessities sa mga tawo,” said Christy.
(I call on the government on this problem that they will thing of the public, that they will bring down the prices of daily necessities of the people.)
Decemay, in addition, urged the government to also provide more efficient means of public transportation.
“Palambuon ang transportation sa Pilipinas. If asa need og budget adto ibutang. Daghan og plano pero kuwang og aksyon,” she added.
(Develop the transportation in the Philippines. If where the budget is needed, then put it there. There are a lot of plans but less action.) / with reports from INQUIRER.net
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