The minimum fare for jeepneys in Metro Manila and its neighboring regions has increased, but commuters say that it does not have that much impact.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday approved the provisional P1 fare increase for modernized or traditional jeepneys plying National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.
The minimum fare for the first four kilometers is now P10, but there is no increase in the succeeding kilometers.
This will take effect immediately but drivers must display the notice of the fare increase inside their units that can be fully viewed by the public.
Senior citizens, persons with disabilities and students will still be granted the usual fare discount upon presenting their valid ID.
The fare increase is a response to the petition of groups representing jeepney drivers, which include the Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines and the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations.
The board, however, will still convene on the main case filed that sought a P5 fare increase.
The approved increase comes as another round of big-time increases in the pump prices of petroleum products reflected this week. Diesel has increased by more than P6 per liter, while gasoline increased by more than P2 per liter.
“There were several increases in fuel prices in recent weeks, further straining the viability of public transport operators to continue to ply their routes… the volatility of the fuel prices in the world market due to lower than expected supply has further increased the cost of oil,” the LTFRB said in its order.
“We had to address immediately the 6.50 fuel price increase yesterday, that’s why the board met today to resolve immediately the motion for recon for the provisional increase,” it added.
Most commuters admitted to being confused following the increase since according to them, they are already being charged P10 as a minimum.
“It was already since 10 pesos last year. Hindi na nagsusukli mga drivers ‘pag 10 binabayad ko (not complaining tho),” a Filipino from Reddit claimed.
“2020 pa P10 ang minimum dito sa’min,” a Twitter user wrote. 2020 was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which extremely upended people’s lives.
“Parang matagal na namang P10. ‘Di naman na sila nagsusukli. Dapat talaga ang ilagay sa transportation sector ‘yung sumasakay sa pampublikong sasakyan araw-araw,” another online user said.
“Huy! Wait, I thought magiging 11 na siya kasi all this time, 10 ang sinisingil sa’kin,” wrote a different commuter.
“Heck, I’ve already been paying (or rather, required to pay) ≥10 for each jeep ride since last year! 10 na nga sinisingil dito sa’min eh. I don’t blame the drivers, though. There are just so many factors leading to this. Oil prices are just half of the story,” another commuter said.
Others claimed that they are being charged higher before.
“Sampung piso? E sa San Pablo, 12 pesos ang singil sa jeep bago pa man i-anunsyo ito,” a Twitter user wrote.
“Dito sa Visayas may P20 na each HAHAHA,” another user claimed.
Jeepney drivers were among those severely affected by the pandemic, especially at its initial stages when hard lockdowns were imposed to reduce people’s mobility and avoid high transmission risk of the virus.
Non-essential establishments were closed, which led to a dramatic reduction in foot traffic majorly composed of commuters.