Transport-fare setting must be updated

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta of 1-CARE partylist said there is urgency in updating the Philippine transport-fare setting policy, which he described as archaic, obsolete and needs immediate replacement.

 

"The efficient, effective and transparent model for land PUV fare-setting is that of the passenger airlines. When we book flights, we see every detail of the airfare we pay for. We should have the same for land PUVs," said Uybarreta who represents energy consumers in Congress.

 

He said he is optimistic his suggestion will get good reception from Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, who has already directed the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board to prepare for the implementation of a parametric formulate for setting PUV fares.

 

"Our airfare system now came about in 1995 with the issuance of Executive Order 219 of then President Fidel V. Ramos. The origin of the legal bases of our PUV fare system is Republic Act 4136 of June 20, 1964, which makes the LTFRB fare model 55 years old," Uybarreta pointed out.

  

"The LTFRB can learn much from how the Civil Aviation Board has been regulating airfares since 1995. The CAB can help the LTFRB see the light, move forward into the 21st Century, and discard its obsolete 1964-based fare-setting mode," the congressman said.

 

"Secretary Art Tugade and I are apparently of the same school of thought on this issue. I stand to file in the 18th Congress the bill he will recommend," Uybarreta said.

 

Aside from the 1964 Land Transportation and Traffic Code (RA 4136), the charter of the LTFRB also needs overhaul, according to Uybarreta.

 

"RA 4136 set governance policy over all motor vehicles before 1987, from 1987 onwards Executive Order 202 is what gave us two land transport agencies with the creation of the LTFRB. These two laws must be overhauled," Uybarreta said.

 

"The factors that affect fares, traffic, and public utility vehicle franchises have vastly changed since 1964 and 1987. We must have a new law that considers the present and is flexible enough to address challenges in the foreseeable future," he added.

 

"Noon, wala pang Grab, TNVS, FX, at electric vehicles. Noon mas konti pa ang tao, hindi pa masikip ang mga kalye. Ngayon, dahil lumang mga batas ang basehan ng ating gobyerno, kapos ang mga hakbang ng LTFRB at LTO," the congressman said.

 

Uybarreta said the overhaul of transport laws is high on the legislative agenda of the 1-CARE Party-List which he represents.

 

"Fuel and electricity costs are the key factors the transport sector contends with. Energy costs are major components of the businesses that manufacture vehicles and those which produce electricity. These are at the heart of the 1-CARE agenda," he explained.

 

The 1-CARE Party-list nominees, aside from Rep. Uybarreta, are Engr. Ashary P. Maongco from Maguindanao, Atty. Veronica T. Briones from Bicol, and Romeo Cuasay and Mr. Roman Arano from Oriental Mindoro. They are all veterans in the rural electrification sector.

 

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