By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will announce its decision on the provisional fare increase for public utility jeepneys (PUJs) on Tuesday (Oct. 3).
In a statement on Friday, LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III ordered the transport groups petitioning for the increase to submit a “supplemental petition” before the final decision is released.
“Pagkatapos nilang makapagpasa nito sa nakatakdang hearing sa October 3 ay posibleng maglabas na po ng desisyon ang LTFRB board (After they submit these documents, it is possible for the LTFRB to release its decision in a hearing on October 3),” Guadiz said.
He added that feedback from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and other stakeholders will also be considered before a decision is made.
Petitioners for the fare increase include the Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila & Suburbs Drivers Association Nationwide, Inc. (PASANG MASDA), Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP), and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO).
In a hearing on Thursday, Guadiz and LTFRB board members Riza Marie Paches and Mercy Jane Paras-Leynes asked the petitioners to clarify whether the requested PHP5 fare hike for the first four kilometers and PHP1 provisional fare increase only applies to traditional PUJs in the National Capital Region (NCR).
A separate petition requesting a PHP2 fare hike for traditional PUJs by the Angat Tsuper Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas Genuine Organization (STOP & GO), Inc. at Federation of Jeepney Operators & Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP) was also discussed during the hearing.
Meanwhile, the LTFRB reminded drivers and conductors of public utility vehicles (PUV) to accept folded polymer banknotes and coins smaller than a peso as valid payment.
The LTFRB coordinated with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday to release Resolution No. 062, series of 2023 ordering PUV operators, drivers, and conductors to accept such payment.
Refusing to accept these as payment, it said, is considered a violation of their Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) and will be penalized.
The resolution was released following complaints that some PUVs are refusing to accept folded PHP1000 polymer bills and centavo coins.
Guadiz advised the public to report such incidents to the LTFRB hotline 1342 or its landline 8529-7111. (PNA)