MANILA, Philippines -- Commuters on Wednesday asked the government to reduce the minimum jeepney fares from P8 to P7.50 due to the decreasing prices of petroleum products.
The National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection (NCCSP) yesterday filed its petition for a 50-centavo fare reduction for public utility jeepneys, citing the drop of diesel to an average of P37 per liter.
NCCSP President Elvira Medina said it took them this long to finally petition for a fare reduction at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) because they were waiting for the right time.
"Now that diesel price averages at P37 per liter, we are confident that the LTFRB will grant our petition. We think it is the best time for government to revert the minimum fare to P7.50 minimum now," she urged.
Medina said that if diesel prices drop further and reach an average price of P35 per liter, NCCSP will again reiterate their request for a P1 jeepney fare reduction.
She added that NCCSP is planning to file a separate petition for a P1 fare reduction for metro and provincial bus rates next week.
The group will ask LTFRB to reduce minimum fare for air-conditioned metro buses from P12 to P11 and for regular metro buses from P10 to P9. It will also propose a P1 per three kilometer fare reduction for provincial buses.
"We are not, however, asking for fare reduction on the rate per succeeding kilometer in deference to the plight of jeepney and bus operators who we know are also struggling to sustain their operations," Medina added.
She said she hopes that the price of petroleum products will continuously drop with the advent of summer season in Europe and the United States.
"The demand for petroleum products in the US and Europe will decrease during the summer months and this will cause prices to drop. Besides, our peso is gaining strength that is why oil prices will continue to decrease," she added.
Upon receiving the petition for fare reduction of the NCCSP, the LTFRB will schedule a series of public consultation before rendering a decision whether or not to grant the request. Petitioners and oppositors will have their opportunity to air their sides