Cebu transport groups continue to ply routes

Posted on March 14, 2012

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While Cebu’s transport groups voiced support for today’s nationwide transport strike, they will continue to ply their routes and file their P1.50 fare hike petition.

The Cebu Integrated Transport Services Cooperative (Citrasco), said they will submit their P1.50 fare hike petition to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) today.

Citrasco chairman Ryan Yu said they would rather wait for the outcome of their petition rather than stage a transport strike.

He said their group was supported by jeepney and taxi operators in Cebu.

He said their fare petition will raise the current P7.50 fare rate to P9 for the first five kilometers with an additional P.75 for every succeeding kilometer.

Today’s transport strike is spearheaded by militant groups like Piston and Bayan.

Taxi drivers and consumers also empathized with the nationwide transport strike.

Romeo Genares, a taxi driver, said there should be a rollback of oil prices because a fare increase won’t solve their problem.

“To tell you the truth, we can only bring home P300 from more than 12 hours of driving, we spend most of our income in oil and rent to our operators,” he said.
If need be, Genares said he will head to the streets to demand a rollback.

“I don’t want another increase in our fare. It will be hard for our passengers. We might end up having no passengers at all because of high fare,” Genares said.
He said oil companies should reduce by P15 to P20 their fuel prices.

Another taxi driver, Joselito Yap, said if gasoline prices go down to P35 per liter and LPG at P20 per kilogram, it would be feasible to reduce the taxi fare back to P30 flag-down rate and an additional P2.50 per 300 meters.

Consumers, for their part, said lowering the value-added tax (VAT) on oil prices to 10 percent may reduce fuel rates.

Lucilla Sato, a vegetable vendor of Carmen public market, said her daily P300 earnings isn’t enough for her family of five.

“When the price of oil continues to increase, the prices of goods will rise as well. We strive hard but we still earn the same small amount while prices become higher,” she said.

Marilou Padayao agreed. “At least if we work around a lesser VAT, we are assured that it will be for a long period of time because it will be a law. I think, it is a long-term solution to this problem,” Padayao said.

Even as fuel prices continue to soar, the Department of Trade and Industry in Central Visayas (DTI-7) said the prices of basic commodities remain well under the suggested retail price (SRP).

“Based on the monitoring we found out that canned sardines are well within the SRP. The highest price now is at P13.30. When you go to major retail chains like SM, Fooda, Ayala prices are lower than this,” said DTI-7 chief Asteria Caberte.

In yesterday’s Kapihan sa PIA forum Caberte said they have done regular monitoring of prices for most basic commodities.

Flour prices even went down by P5 due to lower demand, she said.

“From P900 per 25 kilo bag it has gone down to P885 as of Feb. 23 this year,” she said.

Caberte said the price of canned sardines will remain at its present level especially with the lifting of the ban on tamban fish as of Feb. 29.

“With more supply of tamban, the cost on power will be offset with the availability of supply, so should the price increase, it will still be very minimal,” she said. /By Carine M. Asutilla and Aileen Garcia-Yap

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