The United Negros Drivers Operators Center in Bacolod City yesterday called for uniform jeepney fare rates nationwide, saying it is unfair that drivers in Metro Manila are allowed to charge 50 centavos more than in the provinces where fuel is more expensive.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board effective Tuesday rolled back a 50-centavo provisional fair increase it implemented in March bringing the fare rate in Metro Manila down to P8 and in the Visayas to P7.50.
The jeepney fare rates should be uniform nationwide, if the rate it Manila is P8 for the first four kilometers, why is the rate here P7.50 for the first five kilometers? Jessie Ortega, UNDOC secretary general, asked.
Ortega pointed out that fuel rates in Negros Occidental are, in fact, higher than in Metro Manila so the drivers have bigger operating costs.
“We have been complaining about a huge price disparity of fuel in Negros compared to Metro Manila yet this is not being taken into consideration when fare rates are set,” he added,
Diesel was selling at about P47.55 in Bacolod City yesterday.
Ortega said the rates in Bacolod were about P3 higher than in Metro Manila.
He also said the recent price rollback of diesel by oil firms was not enough.
Since January there have been 12 fuel price increases totaling P5.50 per liter but the rollback was only P5.30 , short 20 centavos, Ortega said.
LTFRB Regional Director Romulo Bernardes yesterday said those who want the fare rates in Visayas to be at P8 should file petitions before the LTFRB so they can be heard and acted on.
Meanwhile, the P7.50 fare rate set for the Visayas should be implemented, or commuters can file complaints against violators for overcharging before the LTFRB, so proper penalties can be imposed, he added.*CPG