As jeepney fares remain unchanged at the measly minimum of PHP9 (US$0.17), public transport drivers have urged the government to fast-track the release of oil subsidies and suspend excise taxes on fuel products to cushion the blow from the oil price hike caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Transport labor group PISTON told CNN Philippines that drivers ply 18-hour shifts on the road but take home a paltry PHP300 (US$5.75) due to the escalating fuel prices.
Drivers lose over PHP363 (US$6.96) daily, an amount that could have gone to their families, labor leader Mody Floranda said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said that over 300,000 public transport drivers or operators are due to receive their individual subsidies of PHP6,500 (US$124.56).
The board, however, clarified that the public transport fare will not be increased.
The pandemic has been tough on jeepney drivers — at the onset of COVID-19, drivers and operators bore the brunt of a jeepney ban on the roads, forcing them out of their livelihoods.