Fare hike not the answer, CDO transport leader says

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/18 Nov) – Increasing transportation fare by two pesos is not the answer to the current woes the transport sector is facing, a transport leader here said.

Santos Hinosolango, spokesperson of Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Region X-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytors Nationwide (Starex-Piston), said that his group does not also believe that converting public utility vehicles to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) instead of diesel or gasoline will also not solve their problems.

Hinosolango has denied having given an interview to a local daily here that his group is joining the petition for a two-peso fare hike.

Starex-Piston, he said, offers the following as the only solution to the issue – 1) nationalization of the oil industry, scrapping of the Oil Deregulation Law and the 12-percent expanded value-added tax (EVAT), and implementing the nine-peso big-time rollback in petroleum products.

“We are not pushing for a fare hike because this will only be an additional burden to the commuting public who are already suffering the brunt of the oil price increases,” Hinosolango added.

Last Monday, six transport groups filed a petition for a two-peso provisional fare increase at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) national office.

The transport groups – Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Altodap), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (Acto), Liga ng mga Transportasyon at Operator sa Pilipinas (Ltop), partylists 1-United TrAnsport Koalisyon (1-Utak) and Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila & Suburbs Drivers Association (Pasang Masda) – also petitioned for a ten-peso minimum fare rate from the current eight pesos to all public utility jeepneys in Metro Manila and in Regions 2 and 3.

However, in its website, LTFRB board member Manuel Iway said that even with the filing of petition for fare increases, there will be no immediate fare hike since these petitions have to undergo a series of public hearings.

Iway admitted the call for fare hike will be an additional burden for the public, especially since the Yuletide season is fast approaching. (Cong B. Corrales / MindaNews)