The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory (LTFRB) Board is now completing the creation of a formula on fare adjustments for public utility vehicles (PUVs).

LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said a technical working group, together with the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Finance, is currently consulting with various transport groups for their inputs on the fare formula.

“We are awaiting certain data to be submitted from transport groups for us to come up with a final determination on the fare formula,” Delgra said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The LTFRB chief said the formula will comprise of the movement of fuel prices multiplied by operating costs over income.

“What will trigger the adjustments is the movement in fuel prices. We need to also look on its impact to commuters. We have to balance the interests between the financial viability of the transport groups in this case the PUJ (public utility jeepney) sector as against the transport costs of passengers,” Delgra said.

The LTFRB is expected to release the fare formula within the second quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, various transport groups have filed a petition before the LTFRB, seeking for the increase of the minimum jeepney fares to PHP10 from PHP9 amid increasing fuel prices this year.

The Board has approved in October last year a fare increase from PHP8 to PHP10 for jeepneys in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon regions due to the increase in fuel prices brought about by higher excise taxes under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

However, the LTFRB has ordered in December a rollback of the minimum jeepney fares to PHP9 due to declining oil prices during that time.

Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has directed the LTFRB to come up with a formula that will set clear guidelines when the fares should be adjusted.

This will ensure that fare hikes will become automatic rather than relying on petitions that will be filed by transport groups. (PNA)