With rolled back fare, jeepney drivers will pay for another round of paperwork

December 10, 2018 - 12:56 PM
Jeepney drivers tariff expense
Jeepney drivers have to shoulder the tariff expense of fare guides amid rollback of passenger fare. (Philstar.com/Miguel de Guzman)

Passengers in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon will soon be enjoying the cheaper jeepney base fare of P9 after the government rolled back the prices, but jeepney drivers will not just bear the lessened income, but also the expense for a new fare matrix.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board approved the new fare on December 4—just a month after rolling out the P10 minimum jeepney fare—as the country saw a drop in oil prices.

As a result, drivers will have to settle with the government agency another hefty cost for the new price matrix.

What is the fare matrix? 

It is an official document from the LTFRB that serves as guide for the passengers of the approved fare per kilometer. It also shows that the vehicle and its plate number is registered and a signature indicates its a legitimate franchise.

Each piece of this paperwork, however, costs a hefty P560.

Jeepney drivers and operators were required to purchase matrices before they can charge the P10 base fee last November.

With the new policy, people are asking what will happen to drivers who bought them.

Transport group Pinag-isang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide or Piston demanded a refund of it.

Piston President George San Mateo reasoned that many jeepney drivers and operators have lined up and paid for it only to be rendered useless with the price slash.

The agency started distributing these as early as November 2, but less than 4,000 drivers were able to acquire them.

According to a report, there are at least 41,375 jeepneys in Metro Manila alone.

LTFRB’s response

LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra III perceived the refund to be “impossible.”

“When they were able to apply for that, they were able to make use of the benefit given to them by way of the adjustment,” Delgra said to an interview with CNN.

The agency has yet to come up with a new formula of prices, the board resolution states.

As recommended by Arthur Tugade of transportation, a technical working group will be formed to develop the formula and propose it to the LTFRB’s approval.

This will be based on “economic indicators such as world market price of crude oil, foreign currency exchange rate, consumer price index, inflation rate, and the financial viability of the public transport system and others.”

Without new matrices, all jeepney drivers in Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Metro Manila may charge their passengers with P9 minimum fare.