Transport Group Protests Price Hike on Modern Jeepneys
A national transport group spoke out against what they perceived as a significant price increase in modern jeepneys for sale, and urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to conduct a price monitoring activity on the market.
Orlando Marquez, president of the Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP), expressed dismay over the fact that a PHP1.4 to 1.6 million modern jeepney back in 2017 now costs PHP2.5 million to buy.
“Nung itinaas na nila, wala nang public consultation. Ang liwanag ng batas na kapag public consumption ang ating pinag-uusapan, dapat may public hearing,” Marquez said during a recent event showcasing modern Public Utility Vehicles (PUV).
“Nagtataka kami sa DTI dahil sila ang may hawak ng price-ceiling control ng Pilipinas. Bakit hindi kumikibo ang DTI?” Marquez added.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez responded that his agency is monitoring the prices of modern jeepneys.
Lopez explained that difference in prices can be attributed to the different features installed in the jeepneys. He also added that there are now many PUV suppliers to choose from with many more scheduled to enter the market, which should help offset the price increase.
Meanwhile, Foton GMA Cavite group retail manager Rowel Tolentino attributed the price increase to several different factors, one which is the late implementation of the Philippine National Standard (PNS) for PUV Class 2 and 3.
“So ano po ba ‘yung PNS na tinatawag? Diyan po nilabas ‘yung sukat ng upuan, ‘yung sukat ng aisle, ‘yung dapat na sukat ng sasakyan. Ang Class 2 and Class 3 naglalaro po ‘yan hanggang 7 meters lang. So nahuli po yun, hindi agad na-anticipate kung magkano ‘yung chassis, kung ilan ba ang lalabas na seating capacity,” Tolentino said, adding that the increase in the prices of steel and other accessories is another contributing factor.
The Duterte administration approved a PHP80,000 subsidy for drivers and operators to entice them to replace their old jeepney with the updated versions.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon has been looking to increase the subsidy since 2018, owing to the significant increase in modern PUVs.