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After Fifth Straight Week of Oil Price Rollbacks, Will LTFRB Cancel Recent Fare Hike?

On October 18, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) approved the fare hike for both public utility jeepneys and buses, raising the minimum fare for the former from the provisional PHP8 to the permanent PHP10 while for the latter, the minimum fare of regular or non-airconditioned buses increased from PHP10 to PHP11 while for air-conditioned buses, the fare went up from PHP12 to PHP13.

As it so happens, a few days before that same week, on October 15, petroleum prices began to tumble. Now on its fifth week of seeing the prices tumble, what then cost in the range of PHP53.25 to PHP63.39 for RON95 gasoline and between PHP48.98 to PHP54.59 from premium diesel within Metro Manila has gone down by nearly PHP8 for gasoline and around PHP5 for diesel.

In light of this, LTFRB member Atty. Aileen Lizada is asking for a meeting with her fellow board members led by agency chairman Atty. Martin B. Delgra III and member Engr. Ronaldo F. Corpus to discuss the matter.

In the memorandum Lizada filed yesterday, November 12, with the LTFRB addressed to both Delgra and Corpus, Lizada said that due to the continuing oil price rollback, the agency needs to “discuss measures on how to deal with the said situation, considering the present permanent fare increase by the majority decision.”

It can be recalled that the LTFRB passed the recent oil price hike despite Lizada’s note in the case that she has a dissenting opinion on it, one of which was that the commuting public would be more amenable to a fare hike to PHP9.50 instead of PHP10 as suggested by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). However, given the history between Delgra and Lizada, we might be better off wishing on a star than seeing a fare reduction, much more see Delgra agree to a meeting with Lizada.

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