The Philippine Star
8 Feb 2000
Transport groups promise Estrada: No fare increase
Despite the recent increases in oil prices, fares in
jeepneys, buses, taxi cabs and even tricycles all
over the country will remain the same.
An ecstatic President Estrada announced this
yesterday after convincing leaders of public
transport groups to freeze their fares.
"I have good news for our riding public: the bus,
jeepney, taxi and tricycle will not have any increase
in fares," he said.
The President, along with several of his Cabinet
men, met with 14 transport leaders for two hours
at Malacañang yesterday.
During the meeting, the President explicitly
requested that fares in all public transportation
vehicles be frozen for the meantime to help the
people bear the effects of the recent oil price
The transport leaders granted his request.
"I cannot forget this because they gave in to our
call to help my administration," the President said.
Among those who attended the meeting were
Romualdo Maranan, Efren de Luna, Medardo
Roda, Roberto Peralta, Orlando Marquez and
Boy Vargas for jeepney groups; Alex Yague,
Amelia de Dios, Jose Piccio and Cesar Apolinario
for bus groups; Luring Naval and Rene Peña for
taxi cab groups; and Ariel Lim for tricycles and
Jose Cortez for trucks.
The transport leaders earlier demanded a
50-centavo increase in their minimum fare
following the 50- to 80-centavo hike in fuel prices.
The country's three biggest oil companies --
Petron, Shell and Caltex -- raised their pump
prices almost simultaneously last week due to the
rising cost of petroleum abroad.
To return the favor, the President said he promised
the transport leaders that he would make life easier
for public utility drivers who daily face numerous
problems on the road.
He said he has directed Philippine National Police
chief Deputy Director General Panfilo Lacson to
continue with his campaign against policemen who
ask drivers for bribes.
And he added that he would also ask the Land
Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board as
well as the Land Transportation Office to be strict
on "colorum" or illegal public vehicles.
The President also assured the transport leaders
that the recently enacted Clean Air Act will not be
immediately implemented and would instead allow
owners of buses and jeepneys some 18 months to
fix their vehicles and comply with the law with less
The law, which seeks to promote cleaner air,
strongly bans smoke-belching vehicles from all
thoroughfares. - By Marichu Villanueva
Distributed for the purpose of education and research.
A. Rahman Paul BARTER
Sustainable Transport Action Network for Asia
and the Pacific (the SUSTRAN Network)
P.O. Box 11501, Kuala Lumpur 50748, Malaysia.
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