MANILA - Philippine economic managers on Thursday said the government is ready to provide fuel subsidies to the transport and agriculture sectors as world oil prices spike.
Brent crude breached $100 per barrel for the first time in 7 years after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Analysts have said that the crisis in Eastern Europe will push fuel prices even higher.
In a statement, the Development Budget Coordination Committee, which is composed of the Finance, Budget and Economic Development agencies, said it is closely monitoring the factors affecting the oil prices in the country.
“Given recent developments, the government remains ready to provide targeted relief assistance and support to address the impact of the oil price hike for affected sectors, especially Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers, farmers, and fisherfolk,” the cabinet-level DBCC said.
It said the government is preparing to release P2.5 billion for the Fuel Subsidy Program of the Department of Transportation.
“This aims to provide fuel vouchers to over 377,000 qualified PUV drivers who are operating jeepneys, UV express, taxis, tricycles, and other full-time ride-hailing and delivery services nationwide,” the DBCC said.
Meanwhile, P500 million is allotted to the Department of Agriculture to provide fuel discounts to farmers and fisherfolk.
“This will help mitigate the impact of elevated fuel prices on production and transport costs of farm and fishery products,” the DBCC said.
Apart from pump prices, the cost of flour is also expected to rise due to the crisis in Ukraine as the Eastern European country is one of the world’s top exporters of wheat.