Just a few days ago, we reported that transport group Pasang Masda wanted to impose a surge fee on jeepneys and buses (PUV) during rush hours. This time, the group wants to set a hearing “at the earliest possible time” with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Pasang Masda president Obet Martin once again cited the continuous increase in gas prices as the reason behind their petition and stated that “’Yung rush hour, talagang sobra ang traffic at malakas ang konsumo.”
“Yan (surge fee) naman ay pansamantala naming ipatutupad kung sakaling aprubahan ito ng LTFRB dahil sa halos linggo-linggong pagtaas ng petrolyo. At kung mag-normalize naman, bumalik tayo sa normal ay puwedeng mag-file kami ng petition to withdraw,” he added.
To summarize, they are asking to charge an additional fee of P1 for jeepneys and P2 for buses from 5am to 8am and 4pm to 8pm daily with the exception of Sundays and national holidays.
Unfortunately, the LTFRB said that they might no longer approve any fare hikes this year to which Pasang Masda president Martin replied that they are not asking for an increase in fare.
He stated, “Ito ay hindi fare increase. Para lang ito ay karagdagang tulong. Dahil mayroon tayong window hour na sinusunod. Hindi naman the whole day we will implement. Oras lamang po, kung saan lang malakas ang konsumo ng diesel ng ating mga pampublikong sasakyan… Bale 8 oras lang sa loob ng isang araw kung kailan ma-traffic lamang.”
Amidst the fee that will benefit the public transportation drivers and business owners, some transport groups are not in agreement with the surcharge as they said that this may cause confusion and burden the passengers even more given the recent increase in fares.
Should the LTFRB reject the petition of charging surge fees, Pasang Masda plans to bring the issue up to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and discuss other options that will help the affected drivers, such as fuel subsidies and service contracting.