TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday, January 30, clarified that they did not recently approve a fare increase amid the move of transport groups to charge higher fares.
In a phone interview with Forum, LTFRB Region 2 Director Nasrudin Talipasan said the LTFRB had issued a memorandum circular in 2007 prescribing that a Public Utility Van (PUV) should charge P2 per kilometer.
“Matagal na pong na-aprubahan na dumaan po ito sa tamang proseso, nagkaroon ng public consultation, public hearing at deliberation sa LTFRB board,” Talipasan said.
On January 26, several PUV operators have started to follow the P2 per kilometer fare, making Aparri-Tuguegarao ride cost P204, from a previous charge of P100.
Talipasan said van operators had since been undercharging due to competition against colorum vans, that were charging cheaper rates that time.
“At kung papansinin mo, matagal na panahon na pala na nag-a-undercharging itong ating mga transport groups, gawa nung kanilang voluntary, kumbaga e para bang ibinababa nila sa kanilang mga singil, hindi lamang dahil naaawa sila sa mga pasahero, kundi ‘yun ay bunsod ng kanilang competition sa pababaan ng pamasahe,” he said.
But with the government transport regulators efforts, the number of colorum vans, according to Talipasan, begun to decrease. This would mean lesser competition for authorized passenger vans.
Talipasan this prompted van operators to adjust to the prescribed fare, which is more or less than the previous rates.
However, the sudden compliance of the prescribed fare per kilometer made it looked like there was a fare increase, the LTFRB regional director said, echoing reactions from commuters who were shocked of the increase in fare on January 26.
He added that van operators failed to give proper advisories to public before implementing the new fare matrix. Northernforum.net