This Week in News: Inflation Surge, Higher LTO Fees, Makati Subway, Angkas’ Comeback
Published: September 8, 2018 | Updated: September 23, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Lifestyle
ICYMI, several developments happened this week that would affect your finances in varying degrees. Just to name a few: The inflation spiked to a nine-year high, LTO fees may get higher next year, and Makati will have its own subway system.
We’ve rounded up the news that might make your life easier or more stressful in the coming months and years.
Table of Contents
- August Inflation Surges to 6.4%
- Congress Approves 10-Day Paid Incentive Leave
- LTFRB OKs P2/Minute Charge for TNVS
- Higher LTO Fees Proposed
- P500 Fine, No Towing for Illegally Parked Cars
- Makati Subway Construction Starts This December
- Angkas is Back!
- Final Thoughts
August Inflation Surges to 6.4%
Prices of goods continue to rise as the Philippine inflation rate in August jumped to 6.4%, its highest in nine years. It has already breached the government’s inflation target for 2018.
Based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, the country’s inflation has been on a steady rise since January 2018 (See graph below). The Philippines now has the highest inflation in the ASEAN region.
What Does the Inflation Surge Mean to You?
High inflation reduces the value of money. For consumers, it means a PHP 1,000 grocery budget can buy less now than last year.
Is your family’s budget running thin? Check out these tips for household budgeting that can help beat the impact of inflation and stretch your monthly income.
Congress Approves 10-Day Paid Incentive Leave
The House of Representatives unanimously voted to approve a bill that increases the yearly paid incentive leave to 10 days.
House Bill 6770 seeks to amend the Labor Code of the Philippines (Republic Act 7322), which currently allows employees to take only a five-day service incentive leave with pay per year. The bill also proposes to convert unused incentive leaves to cash at the end of the year.
The bill will have to go through Senate approval before it’s endorsed to the president. Once it’s signed into law, the 10-day paid incentive leave will apply to employees who have worked for at least one year with a company.
Exempted from this benefit are those already entitled to a 10-day paid annual vacation leave or are working for employers with less than 10 employees.
What Does the 10-Day Paid Incentive Leave Mean to You?
The service incentive leave is one of the government-mandated benefits for employees in the Philippines. Requiring companies to provide an additional five days of paid leave will give employees the chance to spend more time with their loved ones.
According to Baguio Representative Mark Go, the bill’s principal author, employees whose employers don’t provide paid sick leave may also use the paid incentive leave when they get sick.
LTFRB OKs P2/Minute Charge for TNVS
READ: LTFRB releases memorandum authorizing TNVS units to charge ₱2 per minute for travel time | @makoipopioco pic.twitter.com/w05GU6F2Cp
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) Setyembre 5, 2018
Good news for TNVS drivers and operators, bad news for passengers: The LTFRB has authorized all ride-hailing companies to charge two pesos per minute of travel time as part of their fare structure effective September 20.
The LTFRB also requires TNVS companies to include a fare breakdown on the receipts they issue to customers. The breakdown must include the flag down rate, surge pricing, and distance-based and travel time-based charges.
What Does the P2/Minute Charge for TNVS Mean to You?
Prior to the LTFRB order, all TNVS companies in the Philippines were already charging PHP 2 per minute, except for Grab and HYPE. Grab used to charge it until LTFRB ordered its suspension.
Grab or HYPE riders can expect higher TNVS fares now that they’re allowed to charge per minute traveled. If you’re trying to save on your commuting costs, consider taking a P2P bus instead.
Higher LTO Fees Proposed
The Department of Finance seeks to raise the motor vehicle user’s charge (MVUC), one of the yearly LTO fees that motorists have to pay for their vehicle registration.
According to a Manila Bulletin report, the Finance Department would submit a draft executive order for President Rodrigo Duterte to approve the proposed LTO fee increase. All it takes is the president’s signature for the order to take effect in 2019.
Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua noted that the MVUC has not been increased since 2004, so President Duterte can already adjust the rate under Republic Act 8794. The law states that the president may do so once every five years.
Nothing has been confirmed or finalized yet about how much the LTO registration fee increase will be.
What Do Higher LTO Fees Mean to You?
As if the current cost of car ownership in the Philippines isn’t a burden enough, the higher MVUC—should it get the chief executive’s approval—could wreck your budget. So brace yourselves, folks.
P500 Fine, No Towing for Illegally Parked Cars
Since August 31, the MMDA has been implementing the No-Towing Policy. The agency still imposes the PHP 500 penalty for illegal parking.
The MMDA no longer tows illegally parked vehicles to “avoid allegations of abuse and extortion,” according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia. Instead, the MMDA only issues tickets to drivers of cars parked on national roads and Mabuhay Lanes from 6 am to 9 pm.
The latest measure against illegal parking is part of the MMDA’s efforts to ease the Metro Manila traffic, which includes the single-passenger ban and provincial bus ban on EDSA.
What Does the New MMDA Policy Mean to You?
Just because the MMDA has stopped towing illegally parked vehicles doesn’t mean you can park just anywhere. Let’s all do our share in reducing the traffic problem in the city.
Makati Subway Construction Starts This December
The construction of a subway system in Makati City will start in December 2018 and is scheduled to end in 2025.
With a daily passenger capacity of 700,000, the 11-km Makati Subway will have 10 air-conditioned stations. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the proposed locations for the subway stations are Ayala-EDSA, Ayala-Paseo de Roxas, Makati City Hall, and Rockwell, among others.
The new subway system in the Philippines’ financial center will connect with other mass transport systems in the city. These include the MRT-3, Pasig River Ferry System, and the proposed Metro Manila Mega Subway.
What Does the Makati Subway Construction Mean to You?
The subway system will definitely make commutes in the business district faster for people who live or work in Makati.
Worried about the heavy traffic the subway construction might cause? It won’t lead to any road closure, assured Makati Mayor Abby Binay. Its effect on the traffic would be minimal, she said.
Angkas is Back!
Angkas is back as announced in a not-so-formal retweet by the motorcycle ride-hailing company last September 6.
Hala epal ako dapat una magpopost eh https://t.co/qSVpz2Jh6a
— Angkas (@angkas) September 6, 2018
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) shut down Angkas in 2017 after they found that it was operating without a business permit. Thousands of Filipinos reacted to the news as it served as a fast and affordable way of getting around the metro. Looks like everything turned out okay for Angkas months after its suspension.
-  [ANALYSIS] Why is Philippine inflation now the highest in ASEAN?
-  LTFRB TNVS memorandum
-  Schedule of Motor Vehicle User’s Charge Pursuant to R.A 8794 and Other Fees and Charges
-  Higher car registration fees eyed next year
-  Work on Makati subway to start in December –Binay
Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she’s crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.