BAGUIO CITY May 08 – The Cordillera office of the Department of transportation (DOTr-CAR) is inviting the public to attend the scheduled public hearing on May 15, 2018 on the proposed P14 jeepney fare increase in the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area so they can directly raise their issues and concerns before the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) decides on a fare hike.
DOTr-CAR regional director lawyer Jose Eduardo R. Natividad said the role of the LTFRB regional office is to collate the results of the public hearing and other pertinent documents presented by concerned parties and submit these and the recommendations of the regional office to the LTFRB board for further deliberations and appropriate action.
“We want to listen to the plight of all concerned stakeholders regarding the proposed jeepney fare increase in the BLISTT before we come out with our recommendations to the LTFRB board for further deliberations and appropriate action in the future. The role of the LTFRB regional office is only recommendatory and the decision on the proposed fare increase lies with the LTFRB board,” Natividad stressed.
Earlier, the Alliance of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Associations in BLISTT petitioned the LTFRB to grant a fare increase for public utility jeepneys wherein the proposed minimum fare will be P14 for the first 4 kilometers and P2 for every succeeding kilometer travelled.
Currently, the prevailing fare for jeepneys is P8.50 for the first 4 kilometers and P1.40 for every kilometer travelled.
The DOTr-CAR official claimed the agency will document the proceedings and respective positions of concerned sectors for them to be able to formulate their recommendations for action by the LTFRB board.
He underscored the public hearing in the city is the best avenue where concerned sectors could ventilate their issues and concerns related to the proposed jeepney fare increase so that the merits of their positions will be considered by the LTFRB board when acting on the matter.
Natividad said the public hearing will be done at the LTFRB-CAR regional office in Pacdal.
He emphasized that the position of the jeepney operators and drivers on the unabated increase in oil prices and spare parts aggravated by the country’s worsening implementation will be weighed with the position of the riding public on the low minimum wage of P300 daily and the unprecedented increase in basic commodities before the LTFRB board can come out with a ruling striking a balance among the various issues surrounding the proposed jeepney fare hike.
By Dexter A. See