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DOTr asks LTFRB to review PUV fares amid lower oil prices

MANILA — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will ask the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to review the fares of public utility vehicles amid lower oil prices in the world market.

“We will ask LTFRB to review the fares in light of the new developments, such as lower cost of fuel in world prices. This applies to all modes of transport, such as jeeps, buses and UV Express,” DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Wednesday.

“The formula preparation might take time. If they can quickly finish the review, the better,” he added.

He said the DOTr will also ask the LTFRB to create a formula that will ensure that decisions on fare increases will become automatic and will not rely on petitions that may be filed by public transport groups.

He, however, pointed out that the jeepney and bus fare hikes recently approved by the LTFRB will still take effect in November.

The LTFRB has approved last Oct. 18 a PHP2 increase in the minimum jeepney fare from PHP8 to PHP10 in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon; a provisional PHP1 fare hike from PHP10 to PHP11 for ordinary buses; and PHP12 to PHP13 for air-conditioned buses in Metro Manila.

The petition for the jeepney fare hike was filed in September last year, asking for a PHP2 increase from PHP8 to PHP10, citing higher fuel prices.

“There were new parameters since the petition was filed last year,” de Leon said.

The benchmark Brent crude oil is now trading at USD76 per barrel after reaching as high as USD85 per barrel earlier this month.

The LTFRB has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by a commuters’ group seeking to stop the implementation of the jeepney and bus fare hikes last Tuesday.

According to the Board, the appeal filed by the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters did not raise new issues that would lead to a review of its earlier decision to grant the fare hikes. (Aerol John Pateña/PNA)

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