The LTFRB has confirmed that come April, the fare for taking traditional jeepneys will be a minimum of PHP 9. From what’s currently PHP 12, the price reduction brings costs down to pre-pandemic amounts. This comes after the DOTr asked the agency to apply discounts on the use of public utility vehicles.
LTFRB will lower traditional jeepney base fare, modern jeepney at PHP 11, buses minus PHP 3-4
The announcement indicates that traditional jeepney fares will be lowered by PHP 3, from PHP 12 down to PHP 9. The base fare for the use of modern jeepneys will remain at PHP 11, though, and there is a projected PHP 3-4 reduction in bus fares. As for UV Express, a discounted/lowered rate is still being mulled by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. It was last year that the prices were increased to buffer the effects brought on by the pandemic.
A budget of PHP 1.2B has been committed by the Department of Transportation towards the Service Contracting Program (SCP) to back the reduction in fares.
“We are just waiting for the downloading of the money to the LTFRB. Pagkatapos niyan, tuloy-tuloy na ‘yung Service Contracting Program [After that, the Service Contracting Program will be continuous]. … We also have to take the cue from the Office of the Secretary, how they intend to do it,” said Teofilo Guadiz III, LTFRB Chairman. “I think ang gagawin lang nila is discount lang ang ibibigay sa mga tao para ‘yung pera na PHP 1.2 billion mapagkasya sa maraming mga transport services on a nationwide scale [I think they’re applying a discount so the PHP 1.2 billion will be enough to cover the many transport services on a nationwide scale],” he added.
“I believe the budget may last only for about 6 months, half a year. So as early as now, I am requesting the DOTr to come up with additional funding para mapagkasya po namin hanggang sa katapusan ng taon ‘yung pera […funding so we can properly allocate the budget until the end of the year],” Guadiz later said.
This is some good news for commuters, no doubt. But the looming problem is the budget and how long it will last to help transport groups. Lower fares will equate to lower income for them and this may become a major cause of concern down the line. Seeing that the LTFRB is asking for additional funds from the DOTr, we hope that gets approval. We really can’t afford any more complications, commuters and operators, and drivers alike.