(PNA photo by Joey O. Razon) 

MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is expecting to release its resolution on the requested fare hike on public utility vehicles (PUV) soon.

In a statement on Tuesday, LTFRB Chair Cheloy Garafil said the agency is awaiting the position paper of public utility jeepney (PUJ) operator groups. The deadline for the position paper is on Saturday.

“Hinihintay ng ahensya ang position paper ng PUJ groups upang masimulan nang mapagdesisyunan ang kanilang petisyon (The agency is just waiting for the position paper of the PUJ groups so we can begin making a decision on their petition),” Garafil said.

The groups are seeking a PHP5 to a PHP6 fare hike.

To date, Garafil said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has submitted a position paper on the matter to the LTFRB.

She acknowledged the need for a fare hike but noted that LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2019-035, which outlines the formula for a fare adjustment, could not be used due to the challenges brought by the pandemic.

“Bagamat kailangang magtaas ng pamasahe, kailangan ding pag-aralan ang magiging epekto ng taas-pasahe sa ekonomiya at sa purchasing power ng mga pasahero oras na madagdagan ang minimum fare sa PUJ (Despite the need for a fare hike, we also need to study its effects on the economy and the passengers’ purchasing power once the minimum fare for PUJs increases),” she said.

She assured PUV drivers and operators that the LTFRB continues to study and work on how to improve their welfare, their passengers, and the development of the country’s public transport.

In June, the LTFRB approved the temporary increase in the minimum fare of several PUVs in response to the continued rise in fuel prices.

The minimum fare was raised to PHP11 for traditional PUJs and PHP13 for modern PUJs. (PNA)