NegOcc transport sector warns of PUJ ops stoppage due to fuel hikes

Posted by watchmen
October 21, 2021
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

A transport sector leader in Negros Occidental warned of a possible stoppage of operation of public utility jeepneys (PUJ) due to the unabated increase in fuel prices.

Jessie Ortega, Secretary General of Samahan Ng Mga Tsuper at Operaytors Negros (STONE), is imploring the government to temporarily stop imposing excise taxes on fuels.

Ortega said they will meet next week with the Federation of Bacolod Drivers Association (FEBACDA) on what action to take after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) denied the drivers’ petition in Metro Manila for a fare rate increase of P3 from P9 to P12 for the first four kilometers.

“That is also what we are asking from the LTFRB although we have not formally filed a petition yet for the fare rate increase. We are only asking for an increase for the first four kilometers,” Ortega said.

Fuel prices have increased anew this week at P1.80 per liter for gasoline, P1.50 per liter for diesel and P1.30 per liter for kerosene.

The transport sector noted that it was already the eighth time that the increases were imposed.

Ortega said the PUJ operations have been affected too much by the COVID-19 pandemic especially with the placement of barriers and they cannot have full capacity due to physical distancing.

“With this price hike on fuels the drivers have no more take home pay so we are inclined to stop operation,” Ortega said.

He said most drivers are asking to remove the barriers in between passengers because they are already wearing face masks and face shields, although Ortega explained to them that it is part of the health protocols so they cannot do away with it.

Ortega pointed out that if the government stops imposing excise tax, the increase on fuel prices would not be that much.

Per monitoring of the transport sector, unleaded gasoline in the Visayas is now pegged at P73.96 per liter while diesel price is pegged at P64.95 per liter./DGB, WDJ


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