LTFRB 7 set to hear proposed P2 fare hike for Cebu PUJs next week

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB 7) is set to conduct a hearing on the proposed P2 provisional minimum fare increase submitted by traditional public utility jeepney (TPUJ) drivers in Cebu next week.If approved, the minimum fare of TPUJs operating in Cebu will increase from P9 to P11.Petitioners of the proposed fare hike are the 1-United Transport Koalisyon, Cebu Integrated Transport Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Visayas United Drivers Transport and Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Mactan Lapu-Lapu Mandaue Transport Cooperative, Talisay Minglanilla Naga San Fernando Carcar Transport Cooperative, Mandaue Sabang Danao Multicab Operators and Drivers Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Mauswagon Transport Cooperative.LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. confirmed receiving the petition on Thursday, June 9, 2022, and his office is set to conduct a hearing on it within next week.Montealto said that once they resolve the matter during the hearing with the petitioners, and government agencies such as the National Economic Development Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry, they will immediately endorse the fare hike petition to their head office in Manila for approval.In Luzon, the LTFRB has already approved a P1 provisional minimum fare increase for TPUJs in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon on Wednesday, June 8. The fare increase took effect Thursday, June 9.The order, which will increase the base fare for TPUJs for the first four kilometers to P10, was in response to the petition filed by various transport groups in March 2022 amid a series of oil price hikes brought about by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.Montealto said TPUJ operators and drivers in Luzon, particularly in Metro Manila, deserved a P10 fare since the cost of living there is higher compared to Cebu.He assured though that the minimum fare in Cebu would not be higher than the P10 fare approved in Manila.But Montealto clarified that the public transport sector has benefited from the National Government’s programs since the start of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic such as the Libreng Sakay program in which the government provides subsidies to public utility vehicles in exchange for free rides for the riding public.Aside from subsidies through the Libreng Sakay program, the National Government also provided fuel subsidies in response to the increase fuel prices brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war. (PAC / TPT)