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BLIND SPOT: Ten Peso Fair?

As early as my consciousness could bring me to the acquaintance of Philippine peso denominations, I remember the brown 10 peso bill with Apolinario Mabini and the Barasoain Church on the other side. (Yes, kids. Once upon a time, ten peso was on bills.) A kid would love to have one. It would suffice for a two-way transport fare around the city and some decent amount of snacks. After a lengthy span of time, some authorities decided to pair Andres Bonifacio’s face beside Mabini’s on that bill, with everything else pretty much staying the same. This was the time when they phased out the octagon two peso coin with Bonifacio’s face on the heads side. (Yes again, kids. Once upon a time, there were two peso coins, and they were octagon shaped.) Before this, I didn’t knew that something like pairing two heroes on a bill is possible or acceptable. What are they? Partners in crime? It’s still weird when I think of it now. Well, at least Bonifacio and Mabini lived in the same time period, fought the same fight against a common adversary. At least, that makes more sense than the grouping of the distinguished personalities on the one thousand peso bill. Have you ever thought of that? Why are they clumped together there? Anyway, the ten peso bill eventually went the way of the octagon two peso coin towards extinction, and took the coin form, with the Sublime Paralytic and the Katipunan Supremo maintaining their shares. Okay, it seemed that it was going to be a long term relationship. This is the coin which I often got confused with the similarly sized and shaped five peso coin. Bangko Sentral has to consider blind people sometimes. Just recently, they decided on shrinking the coin a little bit and this time bringing back Mr. Mabini to a solo stint. Maybe the coin was too small for two guys’ faces together. Now, get ready to hand that coin over as your minimum regular fare.

I remember a time when our neighbor who happened to be a French woman had to take a jeepney ride downtown because her car needed some fixing that time. She was all smiles, so happily surprised to find out that fare only costs one peso. (For the third time, yes, kids. There was a time a jeepney ride costs one peso; and it was even cheaper before.) Then it became 1.50, 2 pesos, 2.50. Oh, I couldn’t remember clearly anymore. Later, it became 5 pesos; until settling to the present rate.

“The LTFRB has approved the petition by transport groups for an increase of fare for public utility jeepneys in the National Capital Region, as well as in Central Luzon and in the Southern Tagalog. The decision issued by the LTFRB granted the fare increase “to make permanent the provisional increase of ONE PESO granted on 06 July 2018 and an additional ONE PESO for the first four kilometers or a minimum fare of TEN PESOS from the original fare of EIGHT PESOS.” (

Yes. I know. We’re in Bicol. But you know, it’s like a wave that will eventually run you over; so you might as well, stand your ground and face it head-on, instead of running from it, because it would be pointless anyway. After all, they’re imposing it in Regions 3 and 4 and it’s ominous that 5 will be next. Well, we have the cliché reactions of the fare increase as worsening “the budget constraints of the poor without truly addressing the plight of drivers and operators. “ (; that it’s enough, or it’s unfair for commuters, and

the usual stuff. But in a realistic point of view, not to dampen the spirits of commuters who want to save up on fare, every Filipino patron of public transport should have seen this coming eventually, sooner or later. It was bound to come. It‘s all just a matter of time. Similarly, it’s also just a matter of time when the fare increases up further to 11 or 12. That’s how it’s going to be. It would be some magnificent miracle if it goes down a significant level. That’s just how the world goes and we have to live with that, or better yet, learn to ride above its waves. Amazingly, the complaining Filipino is at the same time, a creative Filipino. Everything will certainly get a little more expensive; and every movement will be financially demanding. We can’t really do much about the cash outflow; but we can do a little something about what comes in. Interestingly, many of us are already doing that, while gritting teeth in grumbling.

Anyway, the discounted fare for students, senior citizens and persons with disability, would be 8 pesos.

Oh, by the way, the sanctions on Iran are under way.

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”” Luke 6:38

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