Expect endless arguing among passengers, drivers and bus conductors as a provisional reduction of fares takes effect today.
In a press forum at Tinapayan sa Dapitan, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board Chairman Thompson Lantion said the minimum jeepney fare was back to P7.50 from the P8 for the first four kilometers and 10 centavos less for every succeeding kilometer.
Regular bus fare goes down from P9.50 to P9 minimum while the P10-mandatory tip of taxi cabs has been scrapped.
Lantion said the temporary adjustments would be up to March 15, 2009 because the board would start another hearing on Feb. 18 to decide whether to make the reduction permanent and issue a fare matrix or order a hike.
“This will depend on the actions of prices of crude oil and gasoline in the world market.”
A jeepney group is pressing for a rollback in fuel prices as well.
George San Mateo, Pagkakaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide spokesman, said diesel should go down to P26 per liter since local oil companies have barely made a 45-percent reduction in their price levels.
Even while the fare rollback is not final, Lantion says non-compliance will be dealt with severely.
Violators will be slapped fines ranging from P3,000 to P5,000 and a suspension or cancellation of franchise for repeated offenses.
Calling on local government executives to start discussing reduction in tricycle and FX taxi fares, Lantion notes that the 20-percent discount for students and senior citizens remains in force. –Jing Villamente, Manila Standard Today