Fare hike hits jeep riders hard

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NOT a few commuters and drivers exchanged heated words over the fare hike.                           FER taboy

“Because of the fare hike, we have less money for food.”

Many commuters were caught unaware as the P9 minimum fare for public utility jeepneys in Metro Manila and nearby provinces took effect yesterday.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) implemented the P1 provisional fare increase two days after approving it last Wednesday.

Aside from the National Capital Region (NCR), the jeepney fare increase also covers Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.

The delay in the issuance of the order to implement the fare hike from the time it was approved caused confusion among drivers and passengers.

The LTFRB had also been petitioned to grant fare hikes for taxis, UV Express and transport network companies in the face of rising fuel prices.

“Ang bilis naman na itinaas. Pagkabalita naaplay agad. P24 din yun sa isang linggo (The increase was so fast. They applied it immediately after I heard it on the news),” said Paul Francisco.

Francisco, 20, takes two jeepney rides going to his work in Makati from Sta. Ana Manila, with his one way fare amounting to P18.

“Ang hirap nga kitain ng piso tapos biglang piso taas. Anubayan! (It’s hard to earn an extra peso and then they just increase fare by a peso. What is that!).

Jonas Cay, who lives in Tondo, Manila was hit harder as he takes four jeepney rides, aside from taking the light rail transit each day.

“Mula sa Tondo, sakay ako ng jeep papunta sa Sta. Cruz. Sakay ng LRT sa Carriedo going to Buendia. Tapos jeep byaheng PRC (From Tondo, I take a jeep to Sta. Cruz where I take the LRT to Buendia. Then I take the PRC bound jeep), said Cay.

“Dahil sa dagdag-pasahe bawas sa pwedeng bilhin tulad ng pagkain (Because of the fare hike, we have less money for food),” said Cay, who expects his first born this November.

Some sectors have blamed the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) for the increases in the prices of goods and services.

Transports groups have asked for as much as P2-increase in minimum fares and discounts of up to P5 per liter of fuel products like gasoline and diesel.

They claimed that prices of spare parts for their vehicles have also gone up. They also pressed the scrapping of the value added tax on oil products.