Transportation costs for us in the Philippines have gone up as a result of a recent increase in the minimum jeepney fare effective today. The price for a jeepney ride will rise to P8 (18 cents) in Metro Manila, and will go to P7.50 (17 cents) in Iloilo where we travel to go shopping. The rate had been P7 (16 cents.) It looks like "The Kano" will have to dig a little deeper to pay for those rides across Iloilo, but with the taxicabs also granted a rate increase from the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) of the Philippines, it is still far cheaper for us to travel using public transportation and doesn't require us to own a vehicle in the Philippines.
According to a February 01, 2011 article in the Inquirer.net, “The provisional increase was granted because the board took judicial notice that the prices of goods have been going up, as well as the cost of maintaining jeepney operations, affecting the livelihood of operators,” LTFRB board member Manuel Iway said in an interview. I have to tell you that riding the jeepney is still a great bargain despite the extra penny it's going to cost for a ride, but it sure beats taking the taxi.
Incidentally, I just read where taxicabs operators in Iloilo City may be allowed to charge DOUBLE the rate for out-of-town fares. That's just outrageous and more reason than ever to use the Meriam Transport from the Iloilo International Airport and not one of those cab services whose workers scream at you as you leave the airport.
How that extreme, overpriced charge is even being considered by the LTFRB is beyond me, but according to an article in the mb.com.ph Feb, 1,2011 edition, the Association of Taxi Operators in Panay (ATOP) claimed they had three public meetings which cleared the way for the increase. However, the present LTFRB Regional Director Romulo Bernardez calls the proposed increase “unique and peculiar.” Seems the proposal was endorsed by his predecessor Porfirio Clavel last year. Hmmm, I just have to wonder how Mr. Clavel was persuaded to approve such an increase? Hopefully, the obscene increase will be denied.