Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 6) — Jeepney operators and drivers are disappointed at the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) over the slow releasing of fare matrices, which would allow them to charge the ₱1 fare hike to passengers.
“‘Yung ipinagkaloob sa amin na taas na pasahe, hindi pa rin namin nakukuha dahil sa bagal ng sistema sa kalakaran ng LTFRB na hindi naman pala sila handa. Kaya kami luging-lugi na kami ngayon,” said Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations President Efren de Luna.
[Translation: We still have not enjoyed the fare increase because of the slow processes at the LTFRB, which show that they are not prepared. That is why we’re operating at a loss.]
A phone video obtained by CNN Philippines showed jeepney operators and drivers having to queue in long lines stretching all the way up to the third floor of the LTFRB National Capital Region office just to obtain a fare matrix.
“Grabe napakahirap. Gutom tsaka pagod,” jeepney operator Dang Pajel said. “Matagal na nga kami sa rooftop kanina … tapos mabagal umusad [‘yung pila.]“
[Translation: It’s so difficult. We’re hungry and tired. We waited for so long on the rooftop, and the line moves slow.]
Aside from this, some also find that the ₱610 they pay for a fare matrix is too much for what they are getting.
“Signature lang tsaka plate number, tsaka wala ‘yung mga landmark, wala ‘yung lugar … Wala siyang dry seal,” she said. “Parang Xerox nga lang siya eh. ‘Yung last time na [nagtaas ng] minimum [fare] ng ₱8, may color tapos makapal na paper.”
[Translation: It only has a signature and the plate number, and it doesn’t have the landmarks, it doesn’t have the places … It doesn’t have a dry seal. It’s like it was photocopied. The last time the minimum fare was raised to ₱8, it was colored and printed on thick paper.]
However, the LTFRB officials denied that they are unprepared for the influx of jeepney operators and drivers seeking for a fare matrix.
“Hindi naman din po tayo nagkulang kasi [We didn’t lack in preparations because] the fare matrix have been (sic) ready even a week before that week before the holiday,” LTFRB Chairperson Martin Delgra said. “I just don’t know why the driver operators did not opt to get fare matrix early on,” he added.
Jeepney drivers may only charge commuters the additional ₱1 to the minimum fare if they have posted a fare matrix from the LTFRB.
The apparent sluggish pace of the releasing of fare matrices left some commuters confused.
“Iba-iba ‘yung singil,” said John Edward Yoni. “Nagte-take advantage sila since hindi alam ng tao ‘yung exact distance sa certain destination.”
[Translation: The fares they charge vary. They take advantage of the situation since people do not know the exact distance to a certain destination.]
With all these, some operators want Delgra out of the LTFRB.
“Ang problema kasi kay Chairman Delgra hindi siya marunong makipag-dialogue … Ang lumalabas kasi dito ay zero back… sa parte ng karanasan bilang public servant,” De Luna said.
[Translation: The problem with Chairman Delgra is that he does not know how to dialogue. It appears that he has zero back experience as a public servant.]
But Delgra scoffed at renewed calls for his resignation from the helm of the LTFRB.
“You want a soundbite? Trabaho lang. [It’s just work.]” Delgra said.
CNN Philippines Correspondent Triciah Terada contributed to this report.