TUCP rejects P2 jeepney fare hike petition

“Raising transport fares at this time will hit the poor and will not in any way solve the woes of transport workers”, this said the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) in reaction to a drivers’ group petition to increase minimum fares by as much as P2.00.

TUCP pointed out that hikes in transport fares at this time would only generate a ripple effect that will push living costs soaring beyond the reach of fixed-income earners.

“In the end, it will be the working people and the poor who will suffer most from the fare hikes”, TUCP said.

TUCP pointed that transportation ranks third in the hierarchy of expenses borne by a working family. However, fare hikes also result in substantial increases on food expenses that accounts for over 40% of total family expenditure.

Transport fares increased in June last year by an average of P1.50.

The Philippine Confederation of Drivers and Operators-Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (PCDO-ACTO) yesterday petitioned the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to increase minimum fares from P5.50 to P7.50.

The TUCP appealed to the PCDO-ACTO to reconsider its position. “We call on the leaders of the PCDO-ACTO consider the ill-effects of their petition to the lives of workers and their families who rely on their already over-stretched wages”, TUCP said.

TUCP instead called on the PCDO-ACTO to join labor and other sectors in pressuring government to take action against the oil cartel operating in the country.

“Our two biggest problems —the uncontrollable fuel prices and skyrocketing prices of commodities and services — is largely the result of the deregulated oil industry”, TUCP said.

“We should work together and pressure Congress to repeal the Oil Industry Deregulation Act and for the National Government to take over of Petron Corporation.

The TUCP yesterday called on Malacanang to take a full options approach to buy back the majority stocks of Petron Corporation. The Philippine Government, through the Philippine National Oil Company already owns 40% of the shares of stocks of Petron.

TUCP believes that Government control of Petron will break up the current oil cartel and prevent the giant oil companies from dictating petroleum prices.

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