By Sharlyne Eri – EMTV News, Port Moresby
An increase in fuel prices this month will see passengers travelling on the Highlands and Lae-Madang Highway, having to pay higher fares.
Due to the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission’s recent announcement for the increase, PMV owners say they will be charging more.
Apart from price of fuel increasing, drivers say other reasons to charge extra, are bad road conditions and the high expense of vehicle parts.
Drivers along the Highlands and Lae-Madang Highway say the recent hike in fuel price adds to the other issues that affects their business on a daily basis. Besides, bad road conditions and hold ups, the increase is another expense that will not only affect passengers but the running of the PMV business.
Sai To from Jiwaka is the bus crew of a bus that travels to Madang. He says previously K150 worth of fuel was enough to reach Madang, however with the increase in fuel price, that amount has tripled.
“Previously when we top up with K150 worth of fuel, we are usually left with one quarter when we reach Madang, but with the fuel increase, we are refilling with K180 which runs out when we reach Madang,” Sai said.
Joshua Kevin is a bus driver along the Lae-Madang Highway. He and others say they will be charging passengers more this month.
Sai added that all the Lae-Madang drivers have decided to increase the bus fare from K60 to K70. Meanwhile, a passenger, Beahi Abone, who was bound for Henganofi in Eastern Highlands, is feeling the pinch of this increase. He travelled to Lae with his wife recently, to witnessed the graduation of his nephew at the University of Technology.
He said PMV busses are now charging more than what he previously paid to come to Lae.
ICCC, on Monday (8th April) announced an increase nationwide in retail fuel prices which took effect on Monday (8th April). The increase is mainly attributed to the increase in the crude oil prices and an increase in domestic sea freight for petroleum products.