MANILA – Some 178,000 bonafide public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers are set to benefit from the PHP1-billion fuel subsidies that will be released through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
This, as global oil prices continue to rise to over USD80 per barrel and have affected domestic fuel prices.
In a statement on Monday, the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said the cash aid will be disbursed to the drivers in the remaining months of 2021 using the LTFRB’s Pantawid Pasada Program.
“The funds will be charged against the FY (fiscal year) 2021 Unprogrammed Appropriations under the Support for Infrastructure Projects and Social Programs,” the DBCC statement said.
The economic managers said they are “committed to support our transportation sector amidst the increasing oil prices.”
Oil companies have announced another round of fuel price hikes for this week, the eighth consecutive week of price increases.
Effective Oct. 26, 2021, gasoline prices will jump by around PHP1.15 per liter and diesel by around PHP0.45 per liter. Meanwhile, the LTFRB assured that “qualified and bonafide” drivers and operators of PUVs will receive a cash grant from the PHP1 billion fuel subsidy for the remaining months of this year.
In a statement, the LTFRB welcomed the release of the budget meant to support the transportation sector amid increasing prices of fuel and oil products.
“We assure the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) that the released amount pursuant to Section 82 of the TRAIN law, will be distributed as cash grants to qualified and bonafide PUV drivers for the remaining months of this year. The Landbank of the Philippines shall disburse money straight to the cash cards issued to drivers," the agency said.
It added that the release of funds for the fuel subsidies is “timely”, as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will also defend its proposal for a “significant” increase in the passenger capacity of PUVs as the National Capital Region (NCR) and other parts of the country are placed under more relaxed quarantine restrictions.
“The DOTr is one with the other government agencies to find means and measures that will help sustain the livelihood of affected drivers and operators in the transport sector especially during this time of the pandemic,” the LTFRB said.(PNA)