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LTFRB lowers minimum jeepney fare in NCR, Regions III and IV

The Land Transportation Regulatory and Franchising Board (LTFRB) has ordered the rollback in minimum jeepney fare in several areas, including Metro Manila, by P0.50.



Starting Friday, January 22, 2016, the minimum jeepney fare in the National Capital Region, Region III (Central Luzon) and Region IV (CALABARZON and MIMAROPA) will be P7.00, down from P7.50.

The fare rollback was initiated by public transport groups after fuel companies once again lowered pump prices on Tuesday due to softening world prices of oil. It was the third such rollback in January.

Transport groups ACTO, Pasang Masda, Fejodap and LTOP earlier clarified that the fare rollback they initiated was provisional in nature.

They fear that the prices of gasoline and diesel will again increase in the coming months.

In an earlier meeting, transport groups and National Center for Commuter Protection (NCCP) agreed to reduce fares only if the prices of commodities will also go down.

NCCP president Elvira Medina understood the sentiments of the transport groups.

"Kung ibababa ito kahit 50 sentimos lang, babalik tayo sa 2005 rate which is P7. Kaya lang, iyong cost of living ng mga drivers at iba pang transport workers ay mataas pa rin dahil sa basic na lang kuryente, tubig, bigas, maibabalik ba natin ito sa 2005 rate?" she said.

Bus, taxi fares

Metro Manila bus operators, meanwhile, have yet to make a stand on proposed fare rollbacks. However, provincial bus operators are already shooting down the idea.

“Pinakamalaking cost namin ngayon ay iyong modernization program ng gobyerno na pinatupad noong 2013 na kailangan magpalit kami ng bagong bus,” Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines president Alex Yague said.

The LTFRB, meanwhile, is going to decide on commuters' request in February to lower the taxi flag down rate by P10.

Falling oil prices

The price of oil has crashed about 75 percent since mid-2014, hit by an oversupply, overproduction, weak demand and a slowdown in the global economy, especially China.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) warned this week that the oil market could "drown in oversupply," with the return of Iranian crude after the lifting of western sanctions offsetting any output cuts from other countries.

While prices are expected to remain subdued, some analysts said they could be close to the bottom. —KBK/JST with Agence France-Presse