Jeep fare hike set at P14

Sun.Star Baguio - - FRONT PAGE - Maria Elena Cata­jan Sun*Star Re­porter

WITH COM­MUTERS still reeling from the taxi fare hike, jeep­ney fare is also set to in­crease.

A hear­ing will soon be set for the pe­ti­tion filed by some op­er­a­tors re­gard­ing the

pro­posed in­crease of jeep­ney fare rate from P8.50 to P14.00 with an ad­di­tional cost af­ter four kilo­me­ters, gath­er­ing stake­hold­ers to as­sess if the move is jus­ti­fied.

Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOTr) Cordillera regional di­rec­tor Ed­uardo Na­tivi­dad said the hear­ing will de­ter­mine the amount of the fare in­crease.

Na­tivi­dad said the num­ber of hear­ings is not lim­ited to the lone gath­er­ing set but by the in­ter­ac­tion of stake­hold­ers.

The hear­ing is set May 15, at 2 p.m. at the Land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LTFRB) of­fice in Pac­dal, Baguio City.

Trans­port groups in the na­tional level have asked for a P4 fare in­crease for the ex­ist­ing P8 base jeep­ney fare point­ing to ef­fects of the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion (Train) law.

There are ap­prox­i­mately over 4,000 pub­lic util­ity jeeps ply­ing reg­u­lar routes in Baguio City daily.

The pro­posed fare in­crease came in the heels of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion (TRAIN) which dic­tates an ini­tial P2.50 per liter of ex­cise tax would be im­posed on diesel this year, and would grad­u­ally in­crease to P6 by 2020.

Op­er­a­tors also cited the higher fuel prices in the highlands by at least P5.

The Depart­ment of En­ergy (DOE) ex­plained the dis­par­ity in price in La Union with Baguio City is based on the P25 in­ter­na­tional price im­port con­tent, P7 ex­cise tax, and the P6 value added tax, amount­ing to P38.00 while the re­main­ing P22 is iden­ti­fied as the in­dus­try take.

DOE also ex­plained Baguio City con­sumes only one to two per­cent of the North­ern Lu­zon de­mand for fuel distributed by re-sell­ers aside from not hav­ing its own de­pot, im­port ter­mi­nal, and a re­fin­ery.

The DOE is set to re­quire the oil com­pa­nies, sup­pli­ers and re­tail out­lets to sub­mit base­line data ev­ery end of the year for the un­bundling of their base price and to com­ply as well with the manda­tory price dis­play board.

Fol­low­ing the ad­di­tional ef­fects on petroleum prod­ucts with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the TRAIN law this year, Baguio City Con­gress­man Mar­quez Go passed a mea­sure giv­ing back to the en­ergy depart­ment pow­ers to reg­u­late the prices of fuel.

Photo by Milo Brioso

FARE HIKE TOO. Pub­lic util­ity jeep­ney op­er­a­tors and driv­ers in Baguio City and Benguet are seek­ing for a fare in­crease due to the high cost of fuel.

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