Fare hike freeze un­fair – Ci­trasco

The Freeman - - NEWS -

The Cebu In­te­grated Trans­port Ser­vice Multi-pur­pose Co­op­er­a­tive (Ci­trasco) has branded the fare hike freeze as “un­fair.”

“It’s so un­fair,” said Ci­trasco chair­man Ryan Ben­jamin Yu.

The Land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LTFRB) an­nounced on Tues­day that there would be no fare hike un­til March.

To date, trans­port net­work com­pany Grab and the Philip­pine Na­tional Taxi Op­er­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion have filed pe­ti­tions to hike their fares to cush­ion the im­pact of the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion (TRAIN) Act which would im­pose ex­cise taxes on petroleum prod­ucts. Five jeep­ney trans­port groups also have a pend­ing P2 fare hike pe­ti­tion in the LTFRB.

Be­cause of the TRAIN law, the price of gaso­line will go up this year by P2.97 per liter while diesel and kerosene will in­crease by P2.80 and P3.36, re­spec­tively. The tax on diesel and bunker fuel will go up by P2 to P4.50 in 2019 and by P1.50 to P6 in 2020.

Yu said they may seek a higher in­crease in fare once the in­crease in the prices of fuel prod­ucts will take ef­fect.

"Inig saka sa presyo sa fuel tun­god sa TRAIN (law) kay mo-file dayon mi og fare in­crease. So, panan­gli­tan mosaka na gyud ang presyo sa fuel by Fe­bru­ary, un­fair na pud kaayo na kun un­til March wala’y fare in­crease," he said.

Ac­cord­ing to LTFRB board mem­ber Aileen Lizada, it will take them that long to fin­ish study­ing all the fare hike pe­ti­tions filed by dif­fer­ent trans­port groups.

She said that they would have to hear the sides of both trans­port groups and com­muters be­fore the board could de­cide whether or not to ap­prove the fare in­creases be­ing sought fol­low­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion’s tax re­form pro­gram.

The Cebu bus and mini bus op­er­a­tors, on the other hand, are plan­ning to re-im­ple­ment the ba­sic min­i­mum fare of P6 for the first five kilo­me­ters and an­other P1.25 for ev­ery suc­ceed­ing kilo­me­ter start­ing Fe­bru­ary 1 this year.

"Dili man ni fare in­crease amoa. In fact, we are un­der­charg­ing our fare for sev­eral years. We will just im­ple­ment what was ap­proved by LTFRB few years ago," said Juli­eto Flores, spokesper­son of the bus op­er­a­tors.

At present, bus and mini bus op­er­a­tors only col­lect P5 for the first five kilo­me­ters and P1 for ev­ery suc­ceed­ing kilo­me­ter in fare.

"Nan­gayo ra gyud mi og pasen­siya sa among sumasakay nga pana­hon na gyud among i-re­in­state ang fare as ap­proved by LTFRB kay luoy pud among mga driv­ers," said Flores, who also sits as pres­i­dent of the North and South Bus Op­er­a­tors Co­op­er­a­tive.

TRIS­TAN LAPUT

While his mother is pre­oc­cu­pied with her busi­ness paint­ing the crown of the holy child, a young boy plays with an im­age of the Señor Sto. Niño.

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