The Pagkakaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) on Saturday said the oil price reduction and removal of its taxes is the best solution to help not only the drivers, but also the commuting public.
Piston made the statement a day after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) granted a P1 fare increase for traditional and modern jeepneys, pushing the minimum fare on these public utility vehicles (PUVs) to P12 and P14, respectively.
The transport group stated that the negative impact of the latest fare increase on commuters can be averted by implementing a substantial wage hike for workers and lowering oil prices by scrapping the excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law and the 12% Value Added Tax on petroleum products.
“Even if Piston is not included among those who petitioned for an additional fare, we still welcome the additional fare for PUVs because it is also the right of the drivers to earn more. But for us, more people will benefit—not just drivers but passengers as well—if the price of oil is completely reduced and the taxes on oil are removed completely,” said Mody Floranda, Piston national president.
The group stated that instead of consequent fare increases, removing said oil taxes and controlling the overpricing of petroleum products by junking the Oil Deregulation Law will benefit not just the drivers but also the commuting public who make up more than half of the entire population.
It estimates that drivers will gain at least P300 a day more than they usually bring home if fuel taxes are removed, compared to only P200 a day additional income they can earn with the P1 fare increase, assuming diesel prices won’t exceed P80 per liter when the fare increase takes effect on the first week of October.
“Since almost all consumer products and industries in the country depend on oil not only the transportation sector, it is still fairer to the people if the price of oil is immediately lowered and the government immediately controls the price of goods,” Floranda said.
The group called on the national government to immediately pass and implement House Bill 400 seeking to scrap fuel taxes, filed by Makabayan bloc last July. It also proposed the passage of House Bill 4898, or the National Minimum Wage Law filed by the Makabayan party-list.
“The transport crisis should not be passed on to the commuters and the consumers. If we really choose to increase the fare, we should also
increase wages of workers because most of them are commuters,” Floranda said.