The leaders of the United Negros Drivers Operators Center have asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Western Visayas to issue a memorandum circular on the provisional 50-centavo jeepney fare hike to avoid confusion with the riding public.
The provisional 50-centavo hike in jeepney fare took effect yesterday and this means that the P7.50 fare in the region will be P8 for the first four kilometers and, with the 20 percent discount, students, the elderly and disabled will pay P6.40.
Jesse Ortega, secretary general of UNDOC, said they always battle with their passengers whenever there is fare hike and the best way to make the commuters pay the right fare is to show to them an official order from the LTFRB.
LTFRB VI Regional Director . Romulo Bernardes, however, said there is no need for a memorandum circular on this because it has been approved by the LTFRB board.
Bernardes suggested that each association of drivers and operators issue a notice to the public about the provisional fare hike and have it signed by the LTFRB representative or ask for a certification from the regional office signed by the regional director, with a seal of the agency. However, they have to pay P50 for the certification.
Ortega said there is no need for an official fare matrix to be issued by the LTFRB as the fare hike is only provisional and temporary.
The LTFRB board approved the provisional hike to help operators and drivers cope with the increasing diesel prices, though it can automatically be taken back if diesel prices go back to previous levels.
Meanwhile, UNDOC is supporting the P1 fare hike proposed by its mother organization PISTON, the Pinagisang Samahanng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide, though it is not their priority now.
Ortega said while PISTON is pushing for the P1 fare hike, they will also pressure the government to take action on the abolition of the Oil Deregulation Law and, at least reduce the 12 percent value-added tax on oil products by half to fully help all drivers. *LTG