BAGUIO CITY — The approval of the P35 flag down rate for the Baguio-Benguet taxi franchise holders by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Manila last week poses more problems than solutions according to Anakbayan – Cordillera.
Commuters, the group said are expected to take a heavier burden in their daily expenses.
The new flag down rate is P10 higher than the old rate which is P25.and is applicable for the first 400 meters.
The board’s decision also indicates that the rate for the succeeding 200 meters will be P2,fifty cents greater than the old rate of P1.50.
The group said, taxi transportation is more relied on in Baguio City compared to other cities in the lowlands. This is because most of the jeepney lines here are available only up to a certain time during the evening.
Anakbayan sees this new fare hike as a clear effect of the continous Oil Price Hikes (OPH) which have been besetting the country several times since the year started.The fare hike they said can only buffer the tremendous ill effects of the several OPH to taxi drivers and operators. However,this does not fully address the plight of the drivers and operators.
The group stressed that as long as the price of oil continues to soar in unprecedented levels,taxi drivers and operators cannot have a more stable living. Moreover,this fare hike will be most harmful to commuters in the area.A higher fare rate means more expenses for transportation alone and less expenses for other needs such as food and city services.
“Ultimately, we see these fare hikes as a bad news not only for the people of Baguio-Benguet but also for taxi drivers and operators who will only get a band-aid relief for their day-to-day living,” Anakbayan – Cordillera statement reads.
With this, the group is challenging the Aquino administration to issue more long-term solutions to the crisis hounding the Filipino people. Fare hikes they said can not resolve the problems posed by OPH.
“OPH is the problem per se and we demand from the present administration to be more regulative of this and not be tightly tied to the swings of prices in the world market,” their statement further reads. The Filipino people they added are fed up of Aquino’s band-aid solutions now and that the group is with the people in demanding for more meaningful solutions to end the country’s present economic crisis. # AB – Cordillera Release