P1 fare hike draws mixed reaction from Ilonggo drivers, commuters

A P1 provisional fare increase notice posted in a modernized public utility jeepney. (Photo by Mariela Angella Oladive)

By Rjay Castor and Mariela Angella Oladive

The approved P1 provisional fare increase has drawn mixed reactions from Ilonggo public utility jeepney drivers and commuters, with some feeling the impacts and others seemingly unaffected by the change.

Angel Lapag, a third-year college student at the PHINMA-University of Iloilo, expressed her concerns about the fare increase, emphasizing its potential effect on her budget and daily allowance.

“Grabe ya epekto hay ti malain du man ya budget ka allowance ko, hay bisan piso lang kung isa ka adlaw 3 rides gid ti P3 gid kon [multiply] mo sa 30 hanggod gid nga saka. Maapektohan gid ya pagbudget sang allowance ko,” she said.

Sheryl Lamis, a private company employee, noted that she can still manage the additional P1 fare increase. However, she expressed her concern about the impact it might have if the fare were to rise to P3 or more.

“For me, okay lang, since it’s only 1 peso, I can still afford the fare. It does not really affect me since P1 lang, but if it ranges to 3 pesos and above, then it’s a big increase na, maapektohan na ang akon daily expenses,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jojie Secaluya, a modernized jeepney driver, emphasized that the fare increase alone is insufficient to alleviate the financial challenges they face, especially since diesel fuel costs are also expected to rise.

“Wala man na sa gihapon bulig, madugangan ka pa gani ka pigado sa biyahe kay ang diesel masaka, P1 ang saka, sa diesel P2 na,” he said.

As per the latest monitoring, the price of diesel already reached P65 per liter.

In contrast, a traditional jeepney driver welcomed the fare increase, saying, “Makabulig man ni siya mga galastuson ko sa balay kay kung makalab ot P100 and P1 adlaw adlaw, makabakal na ako bugas.”

Some drivers interviewed by Daily Guardian said that they have not implemented the fare hike since they have not yet posted a tariff or fare matrix. According to them, this is to avoid complaints from commuters.

However, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) clarified that public jeep service operators or drivers are allowed to implement the fare hike even without a posted tariff or fare matrix since the approved fare increase is only temporary.

“Maaari nang ipatupad ng mga operator o tsuper ng mga pampublikong dyip ang dagdag-pasahe kahit wala itong taripa o fare matrix na maipaskil dahil ang inaprubahang pagtaas sa pamasahe ay pansamantala lamang,” the board said in a statement.

The minimum fare for traditional jeepneys will increase to P13 from the current P12, while for modern jeepneys, the fare for the first four kilometers will be P15 from the previous P14.

Despite the fare hike, persons with disabilities, senior Citizens, students, and other eligible individuals can still avail of the 20 percent discount upon presentation of valid identification cards as per existing regulations.

LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz said that the fare increase had been implemented to address the impact of recent pump price hikes and as a response to the economic challenges jeepney operators and drivers face due to rising operating costs.

(Guadiz was suspended Monday evening by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for alleged corruption)

Transport groups petitioned an increase of P5 in the minimum fare and P1 for every succeeding kilometer, but the LTFRB has yet to deliberate on the petition.