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POLCA explains increased ₱7 Ikot La Salle fare

The Ikot La Salle e-jeepney fare of 6 PHP has been consistent since February 2009, however the Board of Parents’ Organization of La Salle Cavite (POLCA) decided to increase the payment to 7 PHP effective March 1 due to rehabilitation of the e-jeepney’s batteries, inflation rates, and tuition fee hikes.

The cost of repairs and maintenance for one e-jeepney ranges from 120, 000 PHP to 168,000 PHP due to the ten to 12 batteries required for each vehicle which necessitates the higher percentage allocation as compared to the driver’s salary and scholarship fund, POLCA spokesperson Dr. Mariano Thomas Ramirez explained.

Fare hike factors

The recent tuition fee increases attributes to the fare hike, as POLCA plans to raise the contribution to the scholarship fund of the university aside from the 100% tuition fee grants they give to student scholars each academic year (AY), “We are sending also students for full scholarship aside from the scholarship fund, at gusto rin naming dadagdagan ‘yong scholarship fund namin (POLCA)… Imagine nalang, how much is our tuition fee now,” Ramirez expressed, referencing to the increasing tuition fee rates in recent years.

Moreover, the 0.25 PHP increase in the driver’s salary was based on the inflation rate increases during the past months, thus the previous charge of 1 PHP out of the 6 PHP will not be sufficient for the two drivers that POLCA currently employs, “Ang question diyan could you consider [the previous 1 PHP charge] as a minimum wage na? It might be, pero siyempre, may pamilya rin ito, so we need something to give also to them,” Ramirez said.

He also clarified that the POLCA is a non-profit organization, therefore the operator does not receive income from the Ikot La Salle jeep.

Addressing 1 PHP fare

Meanwhile, DLSU-D alumni students stated that the Ikot La Salle jeep charged a 1 PHP fare during previous AYs, however Ramirez clarified that Ikot La Salle bus and jeepney services offered at the time did not have any association with POLCA.

“I remember there was a bus datipati jeep pumasok sila rito para sa mga estudyanteng papuntang [Dasmariñas] Bayan … but the bus [and jeepney] does not belong to the POLCA, [ipinahintulot iyon kasi] uso ‘yong holdapan noon,” he explained.

On the other hand, Ramirez clarified that the 200 PHP POLCA fee collected for each student and the Ikot La Salle jeepney operations both hold separate and independent bank accounts, “Lahat ng pera ng Ikot La Salle jeeps meron siyang sariling [bank] account, we never get there for the operation [of the POLCA], hindi rin kami makakakuha doon kasi may external auditor din kami,” Ramirez said.