MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has welcomed the release of PHP1 billion subsidy to at least 178,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers bearing the brunt of surging global fuel prices, Malacañang said on Thursday.
“Nagpapasalamat po ang ating Presidente Rodrigo Roa Duterte sa mga miyembro ng Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) para sa kanilang napapanahong aksiyon na mag-provide ng cash grants sa mga bona fide at qualified public utility drivers (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is thanking the members of the Development Budget Coordination Committee for their timely action to provide cash grants to bona fide and qualified public utility drivers),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online press briefing.
Duterte’s office, Roque said, is optimistic that the distribution of cash assistance to the transport sector will be completed within the year.
“Kumpiyansa kami na maipamamahagi sa nalalabing buwan ng taon ang PHP1-billion fuel subsidy sa ilalim ng Pantawid Pasada Program ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) (We are confident that the PHP1-billion fuel subsidy under the Pantawid Pasada Program of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will be distributed within the remaining months of this year),” Roque said.
The inter-agency DBCC on Monday said around 178,000 PUV drivers are set to benefit from the PHP1-billion subsidies from the LTFRB.
The cash aid is expected to be disbursed to the drivers in the remaining months of 2021.
The move came as global oil prices continue to soar to over USD80 per barrel, affecting domestic fuel prices.
Roque said the government is committed to help drivers hurting from the oil hike.
“Hindi man po natin maiwasan ang pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina at langis ay iniibsan naman po natin ang kahirapan, lalung-lalo na ‘yung mga naghahanapbuhay sa sektor ng transportasyon (While we cannot avoid the increase in fuel and oil products, we are trying to address the plight of everyone, especially those who are working from the transportation sector),” he said.
Oil companies have imposed another increase in fuel products this week, the eighth consecutive week of price hikes.
As of Oct. 26, gasoline and diesel prices have jumped by around PHP1.15 per liter and PHP0.45 per liter, respectively. (PNA)