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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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Jeep fare P7.50 today;
Guv backs wage hike

Jeepney fare in Western Visayas will be P7.50 starting today following a P1 provisional increase granted by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, LTFRB regional director Romulo Bernades said yesterday.

The charge will be P7.50 for the first four kilometres and for every succeeding kilometre it will still be P1.40, he said.

The fare for students, senior citizens and the differently-abled will be P6, he added.

Jeepney operators need not apply for a fare matrix to implement the increase, it will be effective immediately, Bernades said.

He said fare guides should be posted behind the driver’s seats so that passengers will be aware of the new rates.

Drivers who charge more than the amount approved by the LTFRB will be penalized, he said.

However, complaints against violators must be formally filed before the LTFRB so that action can be taken against the culprits, Bernades added.

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said the fare increase is too high, it should have been done on a gradual basis.

It is time workers get a reasonable wage increase, he also said, noting that government workers at the Capitol have already gotten a pay hike this year.

Jeepney drivers in Bacolod City welcomed the P1 provisional fare increase, but said it is not the solution to the problem because it will drive up the prices of basic goods.

Jessie Ortega, United Negros Drivers Operators Center secretary-general, said the provisional increase is being implemented to appease the drivers, but it is not the solution to the problem.

What is needed is the repeal of the Oil Deregulation Law and to require oil companies to make their book of accounts public to determine how much profit they are making, he said.

“We support labor’s call for a wage increase,” Ortega added.

Wennie Sancho, labor representative on the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Western Visayas, said the provisional fare increase makes it all the more necessary for a wage increase to be implemented.

The Trade Unionof Filipino Workers-Negros Occidental Chapter on January 25 filed a petition for a P97 daily wage increase inWestern Visayas before the RTWPB.

The fare increase will trigger price increases in goods and services, Sancho pointed out.*CPG

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