THE GOVERNMENT has approved a provisional rollback of fares for public utility jeepneys (PUJ) in Metro Manila, central and southern Luzon to P9 from P10, following the continuing decline in diesel pump prices.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued Board Resolution No. 91 on Monday, cutting the base fare for the first four kilometers in the three regions more than a month after Oct. 18 when it raised fares amid a hike then in diesel prices.
The new base fare will take immediate effect after publication in a newspaper.
“… [T]he world price of diesel has started to go down resulting in a decrease in the price per liter of the pump price of diesel in the country reaching as low as common price of P43.75 per liter in Metro Manila… and a common price of P45.57 per liter in Southern Luzon… as of 15 November 2018…” the resolution read.
The resolution also said the LTFRB will “come up with a formula that shall predetermine fare rate adjustments as set by 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, among others”.
LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III said the directive to adjust the fares came from Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade. “Because of the continuous rollback in the price of fuel, Secretary Tugade directed us to implement a motu proprio fare decrease. We will implement that and no fee shall be charged for a new fare matrix,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Tugade had said in an Oct. 31 press briefing that he wanted to put in place a system whereby PUJ fares are adjusted faster according to a matrix that takes into account movement of world oil prices and other factors. “I want rate increases to be predicated on a predetermined matrix,” he said then. — Denise A. Valdez