MANILA— Government has approved the P1-billion fuel subsidy for public utility vehicle drivers amid rising prices of fuel in recent weeks, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) confirmed on Saturday.
LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra said the grant is for "legitimate qualified franchise holders and their drivers," most especially in the traditional public utility jeepney (PUJ) sector.
There is no date yet as to when the subsidy will be released, he said.
"Dito po sa fuel subsidy program na inapruba, this is pursuant [to] the Train Law, and the law is specific as to the recipient so PUJ sector po ang makikinabang dito. May ibat-ibang programa naman sa ibang modes of transport," he said in a public briefing.
(This is pursuant to the Train law and it is specific to the PUJ sector, so they would benefit from this greatly. We have different programs for the different modes of transport.)
It will be disbursed under LTFRB's Pantawid Pasada Program, which was introduced in 2018 and 2019, according to Delgra.
The funds are initially planned to be distributed through the operators or franchise holders, but they are "looking for ways" to give it directly to the beneficiaries.
Authorities are also finalizing the list of oil companies and gas stations who will participate in the program.
"Yung nakalagay sa batas, 'yung Pantawid Pasada cards ay nasa operator... pero we are looking at ways by which ibababa rin at magagamit ng tsuper kung saan sila po ang bumibili ng crudo lalong-lalo na ang tinatawag natin na traditional jeepney," he explained.
(The law indicates that the pantawid pasada cards would be with the operator but we are looking for ways to distribute this directly to the drivers who buy the gasoline.)
Prices of petroleum have spiked over the last 8 weeks, with another hike set for the last week of October, prompting lawmakers as well as transport groups to seek the suspension of excise taxes on fuel.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier said suspending the excise tax could lower fuel prices by P8 to P10.
On Friday, prices of gasoline soared to P1.28 per liter. In total, its net increase has gone up to P20.80.
Video from PTV