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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, March 3, 2018
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‘PUJ fare increase necessary’


The drivers’ group in Negros Occidental asked for the understanding of the riding public of their proposed fare hike as they are losing much in income due to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN law.

United Negros Drivers and Operators Center secretary general Diego Malacad said in an interview during the wage’s consultation this week that the increase was seen as a necessary move,as there was a hike in fuel prices of about P3 to P5 per liter this quarter.

“We are asking for the consideration of the commuters as we want to have more responsible drivers on the road,” Malacad said, adding that if the drivers are earning enough, they will avoid recklessness and there will be less conflict with the riding public.

Earlier this week, regional director Richard Osmeña of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board recommended a P9 fare rate for public utility jeepneys in Western Visayas.

The current fare rate is P6.50 but commuters pay P7 per ride, while students, senior citizens, and persons with disability pay P5.

Malacad said that they agree with the recommendation but they will still wait for the decision of the LTFRB central office whether to adjust the fares or not.

There is a need to increase because the drivers are losing income of about P400 daily as this went to paying more for fuel, he said, adding that from about a P700 take-home income, it went down to about P300 due to excise tax on gas and diesel.

“The government should have considered first if TRAIN could benefit both the drivers and passengers before passing it,” he said, adding that the law has fake promises and should be junked.

If the government will immediately stop the implementation of TRAIN law, no fare increase will happen and everything will be “back to normal,” Malacad said.

He also hopes that the new fare matrix will be approved to create a uniform rate for public utility vehicles in the whole province that could benefit all drivers inside and outside of Bacolod City.*MLG


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