Research group IBON said that jeepney drivers and their families have suffered huge income losses from rising pump prices on top of facing rising prices of basic goods and services.
The initial and impending fare hikes give immediate relief but only temporarily.
Fare hikes only worsen the burden on commuters and the government needs to take a broader view of the situation including taking both short and longer-term measures.
TRAIN is to blame for around Php13,104 of this amount, said IBON.
The estimated cumulative Php18,855 loss in the first nine months means an average loss in income of Php2,095 monthly, IBON explained.
Driver’s incomes fell drastically in the first six months of the year.
The provisional Php1 jeepney fare hike in July compensated for pump price increases in July and August but was not enough in September when their incomes again fell as pump prices rose.
Even the full Php2 jeepney fare hike to be implemented this November, which includes the July Php1 fare increase, will not be enough to restore their earnings to pre-TRAIN levels.
Monthly incomes from January to September were compared to that in December 2017 as the baseline income.
Both already bear the brunt of relentless price increases not just of oil but also of other commodity items including food, said the group.
“The additional oil excise taxes in January 2019 should also be suspended so as not to add to already considerable inflationary pressures,” he added.
“The long-term solution should include fuller and more responsible regulation of the oil industry,” he concluded. #