PUJ fare hike plea on hold after gov't promises cash subsidy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2021 10:16 AM

MANILA - Transport groups have agreed to put their petition for a fare increase on hold until they receive the cash subsidy promised by the government.

“Maganda ang in-offer sa amin pero hindi pa rin namin iaatras, ipepending lang namin ang aming petition at pag nakuha na namin ang aming mga napag-usapan that would be the time for us to recall our petition,” Pasang Masda president Obet Martin said in a TeleRadyo interview.

(The offer was good but we will not withdraw the petition yet and once we receive all that was agreed upon that would be the time for us to recall our petition.)

In a closed door executive meeting of the House Committee on Transportation on Wednesday, panel chair Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Sarmiento said the proposed relief to prevent a fare hike will be contained in a joint resolution.

Jeepney drivers have filed for a fare hike before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board amid rising fuel prices.

“Nagkaroon kami ng executive hearing sa Congress kahapon at napakaganda ng aming napag-usapan yang subsidy through Pasada card ay immediate,” said Martin.

(We had a good discussion during the executive hearing in Congress yesterday and we discussed that the subsidy through Pasada card would be immediate.) 

Martin was referring to the Pantawid Pasada program initiated in 2018 to cushion the impact of higher fuel excise tax through the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. The fuel subsidy is also being funded by the TRAIN law.

“Yung eksaktong amount hindi ko masabi pero it will range kasi yung Pasada card noong araw na binanggit ko P20,000 yan. Parang baka i-pattern nila doon, malaking tulong yan sa amin,” said Martin.

(I can’t say the exact amount but the previous Pasada card was P20,000. Maybe they will pattern it there, that would be a big help for us.)
 
Martin said the cash subsidy may range from P5,000 up to P25,000 and hopefully received by drivers at the earliest possible time amid the increase in fuel prices.

He added that they will be the ones to submit to the LTFRB the names of drivers for the cash subsidy.