March 3, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – Good news! Commuters may soon enjoy lower bus fares in Metro Manila.
This was after a group of bus operators providing transit services across Metro Manila offered P1 fare cut on regular and air-conditioned bus services due to the continuous decline in fuel prices.
On Wednesday, the Samahang Transport Operators ng Pilipinas (STOP) Inc. filed a petition before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) office in Quezon City, seeking to reduce regular bus fares in the metropolis from P10 to P9 for the first four kilometers, while every succeeding kilometer remains at P1.85.
For air-conditioned service, the group asked to lower the fare rate from the existing P12 to P11 for the first four kilometers, but maintains every succeeding kilometer to P2.20.
“The purpose of this petition is to promote for the welfare of the commuting riding public, which is our paramount consideration in the operation of petitioner’s business,” the group said in its petition.
“Wherefore, in the interest of public service, it is most respectfully moved and prayed for that the petition be approved/granted,” it added.
LTFRB board member Ariel Inton Jr. said they will act on the petition next week after the board’s meeting on Monday (March 7).
“Magkakaroon kami ng board meeting sa Monday at after nito ay posibleng maglabas na din kami agad ng desisyon regarding dito,” Inton said.
“Certainly, we will grant it. Anything that is beneficial to the passengers is fine with us. Masaya and board dahil tulad ng isang jeepney group ay nagkusa rin ang mga operators ng city buses. Umaasa kami na susunod na rin ang mga provincial buses,” he added.
However, the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP) was not too keen on the idea of fare reduction on provincial buses.
Alex Yaque of PBOAP said provincial buses have higher operating expenses than city buses.
“Maraming mga terminals na kailangan i-maintain at itayo para sa operations ng mga provincial buses,” he said.
Yaque further stressed that the prices of diesel were unstable.
“Anytime bumababa ang presyo ng diesel, pero agad-agad din naman ito tumataas,” he added.