P1 fare hike on jeepneys ‘only a short-term solution,’ says transport group

October 6, 2023 - 9:22 AM
Traditional jeepneys along the Emilio Aguinaldo Highway in Cavite (PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)

A group of mobility advocates called for better sustainable options than fare hikes to benefit both commuters and jeepney drivers.

Alt Mobility expressed this in a statement following the LTFRB’s approval of the P1 increase in jeepney rides. This will take effect on Sunday, October 8.

“Every fare hike hurts Filipino commuters and fails to provide long-term support for the transportation sector. Alt Mobility PH understands the need to address the widening gap between fare prices, and the rising cost of fuels and goods,” the group said.

“But fuel price increases are only a short-term solution so the government must fulfill its responsibility to implement more sustainable solutions to meet the needs of both commuters and jeepney drivers,” it added.

Alt Mobility PH thus suggested implementing a proper “service contracting model.”

The group said this model comprises:

  • The government compensates jeep and bus operators based on performance
  • Jeepney and bus drivers and operators no longer face operational risks due to spikes in fuel prices
  • The government insulates Filipino commuters by stabilizing the cost of fares

These conditions, however, can only be achieved if the DOTr puts the welfare of Filipino commuters “above all else.”

“In order to this, the Department of Transportation must put the welfare of Filipino commuters above all else and work closely with other government agencies to deliberately address the decaying state of road-based public transportation,” Alt Mobility PH said.

The Move As One Coalition, an organization advocating inclusive local public transport, earlier called on the national government to implement the service contracting program (SCP), which costs a hefty P1.28 billion.

“Sampung buwan nang hindi gumagalaw ang pondo’t programang ito na sana’y nakakatulong sa libo-libong mga tsuper at milyong-milyong mga pasahero sa krisis na ito,” the coalition said on October 3.

It also emphasized that the burden of providing accessible mass transport should not fall on operators and drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs).

“Marapat lamang na ang pamasahe ay manatiling abot-kaya lalo na para sa ating mga ordinaryong manggagawang minimum wage lamang ang natatanggap na sahod. Ngunit hindi rin dapat mga operator at tsuper ang pumasan sa walang katapusang pagtaas ng petrolyo kapalit ng kitang maiuuwi nila sa kanilang mga pamilya,” the coalition said.

The LTFRB’s decision on jeepneys’ fare adjustments came after a hearing with transport groups who filed multiple petitions to raise their fares, citing the rise in fuel costs and basic commodities.

The P1 fare hike will take effect starting on October 8. It applies to both traditional jeepneys and modern units.

READ: ‘Taas sahod’: Commuters react to LTFRB’s P1 jeepney fare hike approval