The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has begun handing out fuel subsidies to jeepney franchise holders. This is part of government efforts to support sectors affected by rising fuel prices and quarantine restrictions.
Qualified jeepney drivers and operators have begun receiving cash disbursements for fuel purchases [Photo: André Héroux]
Officials from the LTRFB, Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Energy (DoE), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) signed the joint memorandum on the fuel subsidy program on Wednesday, November 24, during the program’s formal launch.
A total of Php 1 billion has been earmarked under the government’s Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP), set to benefit qualified jeepney drivers and operators through a one-time grant of Php 7,200 each. LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra III said that the funds came from the 2021 General Appropriations Act.
The first batch of 78,000 beneficiaries have received their subsidy through their PPP cash cards issued by LandBank, out of some 85,000 active card holders. This is on top of almost Php 900 million in incentives that the government has provided so far.
The transport sector is grappling with rising oil prices coupled and limited passenger load due to pandemic restrictions
According to LTFRB NCR Regional Director Atty. Zona Tamayo, LandBank has already credited Php 562 million to beneficiaries. “Yun pong merong existing PPP cards, they have to check po sa ATM nila yung account balance (Those who have existing PPP cards have to check their balance in their ATM cards),” she said.
The funds can be used to purchase fuel from participating gasoline stations run by both major and independent oil players. These include Petron, Caltex, Shell, Seaoil, Total, Jetti, Rephil, Petro Gazz, and Unioil.
Drivers and operators, however, are reminded that the funds should be used exclusively for fuel purchases. The LTFRB also says that only vehicles registered in the card can avail of the purchased fuel, and that a show cause order may be issued against beneficiaries found to be using the card for other purposes.
Drivers and operators were recently allowed to increase passenger capacity to augment their incomes
In October, the DOTr approved the release of financial assistance to public utility drivers and operators, in light of successive fuel price increases. Congress has also approved a bill which seeks to reduce or suspend the excise tax on fuels, which will take effect for six months once signed into law.
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo