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The provisional fare hike is praised by lawmakers.

MANILA, Philippines — Senators proposed on Thursday that the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) consider other options besides approving the PHP1 interim fare increase for jeepneys in the face of massive oil price increases.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III stated that the LTFRB must make judgments that are responsive and proactive.

“They shouldn’t be as formal as they used to be. Since they are quasi-judicial organizations, they should take quasi-judicial note of what is happening in the world if there is a petition or a cry for help to increase transportation fares, other benefits, or other pricing being regulated “In an interview with CNN Philippines, he stated.

Despite his support for the move, Pimentel believes the LTFRB should seek comments from the transportation groups.

“I’m sure there are time logs between the petition and its approval, and then there are nangyari na (events that have already occurred) in between. The presyo ng diesel or gasolina may be tumaas. As a result, magbigay po kaagad ng feedback para maka-adjust ulit ang mga regulatory agency (Diesel or gasoline prices may rise.) As a result, they should provide rapid input so that regulatory agencies can respond accordingly) “he stated

Pimentel also advised that the government temporarily suspend the value-added tax and excise tax on gasoline in order to mitigate the impact of rising oil prices on the global market.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, on her part, expressed gratitude to the LTFRB for choosing to raise the minimum rate for jeepneys in the National Capital Region.

She, on the other hand, believes the preliminary rise is insufficient, claiming that it is still based on the rate in 2018, when diesel was still priced at PHP40 per liter.

“The price of gasoline is currently PHP80 a liter (Now, fuel products are at PHP80 already). This is in no way a replacement for a decision on the operators’ PHP14 minimum fare hike petition “In a statement, Hontiveros added.

She recommended expanding the government’s service contracting program and using the excise tax generated to improve and maintain public transportation.

“Since then, all other prices have gone up, including pati piyesa and pagkain. Ang ating (include parts and food) ay buhayin naman. Let us keep our) transportation sector alive “Hontiveros went on to say.

After the LTFRB granted the provisional PHP1 increase petitioned by groups representing jeepney drivers, the minimum fee on jeepneys traveling in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa would be PHP10 starting Thursday.

While the LTFRB recognizes the plight of the Filipino people whenever the price of commodities rises, including the cost of public transportation, it cannot ignore the clamor and plight of PUV operators and drivers who are responsible for ensuring a steady supply of public transportation services, according to a statement.

“It’s worth noting that the PUJ service, to which the petitioners belong as a method of public transportation, carries the most regular commuters on a daily basis. The LTFRB’s mandate and obligation is to strike a careful balance between the industry’s economic viability and the welfare of the riding public “It was stated.

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