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Bus drivers want a minimum fare of P20 and P15 for municipal and provincial buses.

Due to rising fuel prices, bus operators have requested that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) raise the minimum charge for regularly scheduled, air-conditioned public utility buses (PUBs) and for subsequent kilometers (km).

PUB operators presented a joint petition Thursday to raise the minimum fare for airconditioned PUBs from PHP13 to PHP20 for the first five kilometers plus PHP3.40 for each additional kilometer in an en banc meeting at the LTFRB office in Quezon City.

They want to raise the minimum rate for normal PUBs from PHP11 to PHP15 and add PHP2.70 each additional kilometer after the first five.

According to the petition, provincial PUBs should charge a minimum fare of PHP15 for the first five kilometers with a PHP2 per km charge, PHP2.50 per km for regular air-conditioned PUBs, PHP2.60 per km for “De Luxe” units, PHP2.70 per km for “Super De Luxe” units, and PHP3.60 per km for “Luxury” units.

The Southern Luzon Bus Operators Association, Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Nangangasiwa ng Panglalawigang Bus sa Pilipinas, and Samahang Transport Operators of the Philippines, Inc. presented the petition.

According to the groups, fewer buses are running around the country as a result of the high cost of gasoline. The LTFRB implemented its current fare structure while diesel was selling for about PHP44 per liter, as opposed to PHP80 per liter on July 25.

Once the LTFRB approves their petition, they guarantee that PUBs will quickly resume full operations.

With regard to the current oil market and the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the LTFRB responded in a statement by stating that they appreciate the demands of PUB operators.

The LTFRB stated in Filipino, “Aside from investigating the implementation of a provisional fare increase for PUBs, the agency is looking into creating more routes to handle the anticipated influx in passengers once face-to-face classes resume.”

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) will also be consulted by the LTFRB over the petition, and its next hearing is planned for August 11.

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