No fare hike yet due to Train
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) warned on Monday that drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) would be fined and their franchise revoked should they start charging higher fare rates without the agency’s approval.
Following the expected increase in the prices of petroleum products due to the Duterte administration’s tax reform program, some UV Express drivers have given their passengers notice about an impending fare hike.
A netizen posted on social media on Monday a flyer distributed by UV Express drivers plying the Meycauayan, Bulacan, to Quezon Avenue route.
It informed passengers that starting Jan. 15, the regular fare would be P50 instead of P45. The P5 increase was supposedly “to compensate for the increase in the prices of fuel, basic [commodities] and lease.”
But LTFRB Director Aileen Lizada warned that this was an unauthorized move, especially since the board has yet to receive a petition for a fare hike from UV Express drivers and operators.
According to Lizada, those who will unilaterally raise their fare rates face a minimum fine of P5,000 for overcharging passengers under Joint Administrative 2014-01, or the Revised Schedule of Fines and Penalties for Violation of Laws, Rules and Regulations Governing the Land Transportation Office.
For third-time offenders, the driver or operator will be fined P15,000 on top of the revocation of their franchise, she added.
Earlier, the Department of Energy maintained that the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Act on petroleum products would not be felt immediately as oil companies should first consume their 15-day buffer stock.
It said that should there be any price changes due to the excise tax imposed on fuel products, these should be reflected only after Jan. 16.
Hike in fuel prices Under the Train Act, the price of gasoline is expected to go up by P2.97 per liter while diesel and kerosene will rise by P2.80 and P3.36 per liter, respectively.
To date, transport network company Grab and Philippine National Taxi Operators Association have already sought a fare hike to cushion the impact of the Train Act.
Five jeepney transport groups also have a pending petition for a P2 fare increase. – Jovic Yee