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Here's the Problem with Fare Hikes

<p><em>Butas na naman ang bulsa</em></p>
by Mikey Agulto | Feb 2, 2011
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Here’s the problem with fare hikes: It’s unfair.

Starting today, February 1, jeepney riders will have to pull out an extra peso coin. The minimum fare for public jeepneys has now gone up to P8.00.

And for those who have yet to ride a cab since last week, taxi flagdown rates have also catapulted back to P40.00, now with a 3.50 increase for every 300 meters.

We can choose to blame the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for approving this provisional increase, or we could set our sights on the real culprit: higher costs of fuel, spare parts, and other operating expenses.

Not only will this fare hike redefine our budget expenses, but it could also hurt our everyday existence in ways you might not expect. Call us paranoid, but here are just four reasons why:

Prepare for cigarette breath. That extra peso on jeepney fares could cost us our daily dose of after-smoke candy, which affects our breath, in turn could hurt our chances with women. Worse, perhaps candy companies will suffer. Think of all those jobs, people.

Relationships will suffer. Couples who regularly ride cabs on their way home will now think twice.  Before you know it, boyfriend hesitates to take the girl home. Girlfriend suspects the effort is gone and assumes the relationship is on the rocks. Worst case is a break up suffices.

Employees are later than ever. Among the many belt-tightening methods money-strapped employees will have to do is to endure longer commutes instead of the indulging in cab rides, thereby arriving in offices later than the usual. Management won't be happy. Promotions (and the raise that comes along) will seem like an illusion. 

People will have to do math all over again. You knew it by heart: how many times P2.50 will clock in during morning rush (a good 16 but you'll hand the driver a fine P80 as tip). Divisible by 5 and 10—we can't believe we're actually calculating and deciding that this is actually simple enough. But it was so simple; we’ve made peace with it. Now, imagine P3.50 multiplied by 4 is like, ahm... wee?

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WORDS BY MIKEY AGULTO
IMAGE FROM THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)

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