Fuel subsidies should be released directly to drivers: transport leader

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2021 06:35 PM

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Video courtesy of PTV 

A transport group on Tuesday urged government to release fuel subsidy directly to public utility drivers to help them cope with the rising cost of fuel. 

The P1 billion cash grant will benefit some 178,000 PUV drivers for the remaining months of the year, the Development Budget Coordination Committee has said. 

"Malaking bagay po ito... Ang rekomendasyon namin ay direkta na dapat sa driver, ‘wag nang ibigay sa operator," said Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP) president Orlando Marquez. 

(This is big. Our recommendation is this should be given directly to drivers, not the operators.)

"Kapag ibigay na naman sa card ng operator eh baka hindi na naman iyong jeep ang malalagyan ng krudo, baka iyong Pajero na naman noong may-ari ng mga jeep," he said in a televised public briefing. 

(If that is given again through the card of the operator, the fuel might not go to jeepneys, but instead, the Pajero of owners.) 

LTOP seeks another meeting with lawmakers to iron out the subsidy distribution, Marquez said. 

Prices of petroleum products have spiked for 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.

However, suspending the measure will result in "substantial revenue loss" of as much as P131.4 billion in 2022, the Finance Department has said.