A majority of commuters in the Greater Metro Manila Area is not in favor of a fare hike for passenger utility jeepneys (PUJ), an informal online survey by transport advocacy group The Passenger Forum found. According to the survey, conducted from September 16-17, 71% of the respondents are against a jeepney fare hike.
Primo Morillo, TPF Convener, said, “There is no doubt that regular commuters simply do not have the budget space to allow any fare hikes. This confirms what we have been asserting that the government should look for other solutions such as continuous and effective fuel subsidy for PUJs rather than simply giving the go signal for a fare increase.”
He also asserted that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should publicly release the liquidation of the P3 billion-pesos fuel subsidy that was disbursed recently.
“As the main rationale for the fuel subsidies is to cushion the effects of oil price hikes to the transport sector, it should also eliminate, or at least minimize, the need for fare hikes. We just cannot understand how LTFRB Chief Guadiz’ media statement after distributing 3 billion pesos is to announce that they will soon approve a fare hike. In fact, they should explain first how the 3 billion was spent. Malaking pera ang tatlong bilyong piso. Dapat ipaliwanag muna ito ng LTFRB,” Morillo added.
Most of the survey’s 100 respondents reside in Quezon City (20%), Manila (14%) and Caloocan (9%). 29% of the respondents patronize PUJs 10-14 times per week while 20% said they rely on jeepneys for more than 14 times a week.
The survey also found out that if a fare increase is inevitable, 72% prefer that the government limit it to just one peso (43%) or less (29%).