On the recent fare hike

Yet again, ordinary Filipinos are directly bearing the impacts of fuel hikes. Everyday commuter including women would have to shell out more as a nationwide fare hike took effect yesterday, October 3.

The traditional and modern jeepneys increased fare by Php1, pushing the minimum to Php12 and Php14, respectively. For buses, the minimum fare is now Php13 with a Php2.25 increment for every succeeding kilometer. For air-conditioned buses, the fare will begin at Php15 and will have a Php2.65 increase for every succeeding kilometer. Taxis will have an additional Php5 for the flag down rate, while there are proposals to also increase LRT and MRT fares.

“Ang hirap na nga ng buhay sa mga panahong ito, lahat ng bilihin nagtataasan ang presyo, tapos ngayon nadagdagan pa ang pamasahe. Mataas na nga ang pamasahe ko na umaabot ng P144.00 mula ng magkaroon ng pandemya, ngayon aabot na ng P200.00 kada araw pamasahe ko. Tipid na tipid ako sa pagkain ko, pero malaki pa rin ang mababawas sa sahod ko.” – Jeng-jeng, Canteen Food Server

(Life is really hard these days, the prices of all goods are increasing, and now the fare has increased as well. I’ve been spending a lot on transportation expenses since the pandemic, around P144.00, now my expenses could reach P200.00 per day. I’ve been skimping on my food, and now there’s an additional deduction to my salary. – Jeng-jeng, Canteen Food Server)

Jeng-jeng is one of the millions of Filipino women facing further economic insecurity. Still reeling from the economic impacts of the pandemic, the recent typhoon disasters, continuous price increases, and the fare hike, this will push more women into deeper poverty and debt.

Successive oil price hikes since the start of 2022 have created difficulties for the transport sector, comprised mainly of jeepney and bus drivers. The price of diesel has increased from Php 44.20 – 52.80 per liter in January 2022 to Php 65.75 – 73.70 by the end of September, according to DOE Oil Monitor. Gasoline prices increased from Php 53.10 – 66.90 to Php 61.45 – 71.45 during the same period.

Despite fuel hikes’ evident and the disastrous impacts on the livelihood of drivers, fisherfolk and farmers, workers, and consumers, the past and current administrations remain silent and no decisive action has been taken to address the soaring prices.

On the other hand, it is such dismay to hear the news that Pres. Marcos Jr. along with his entourage flew to Singapore over the weekend to watch the Formula One Grand Prix. It is unacceptable to justify the overseas trip as ‘productive’, with the lavish spending reportedly amounting to $8000 (Php470,412) for the two-day access pass to the exclusive F1 Paddock Club, while Filipinos are grappling with the impacts of fuel hikes.

We call on the Marcos administration to decisively address abrupt increases in fuel prices, including the suspension of excise tax on fuel products under the TRAIN Law, and to review and reconsider the Oil Deregulation Law.

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