Govt ready to continue subsidy if oil prices remain high

Wena Cos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2022 09:17 PM

MANILA - The government is ready to continue giving financial aid for the transport and agriculture sectors amid high oil prices, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Friday.

"We will continue for as long as the price of oil is elevated, we will continue to provide subsidy to jeepney drivers and operators, subsidy to farmers and fisherfolk," Diokno said after the first meeting of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s economic team. 

However, the former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor said he expects international fuel prices to stabilize by next year.

"The assumption for the price of Dubai crude oil is set at 70-90 US dollars per barrel for 2024-2028, as oil supply is expected to stabilize," Department of Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said. 

The DBM said it has released P3 billion for the implementation of the Department of Transportation's (DoTr) fuel subsidy program, and another P7 billion for its "Libreng Sakay" program.

It has also released P6.2 billion for the first tranche of the targeted cash transfer program, and another P500 million for agricultural fuel discounts. 

While ready to continue the fuel subsidy program, Pangandaman said they have not received any request from DOTr to continue funding the program. 

"Today we haven't received any request yet from the DoTr, if we get to receive their request, we will try to evaluate, this is contingent with the available funding and certification from the Bureau of Treasury," Pangandaman said.