Fast-track fuel subsidy to PUVs

March 4, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 246 views

A HOUSE leader on Friday urged the government to fast-track the implementation and distribution of fuel subsidy and other assistance to public utility vehicles affected by recent oil price hikes.

“Umaaray na ang mga nasa sektor ng pampublikong transportasyon dahil sa walang tigil na pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, kung kaya’t dapat madaliin na ng pamahalaan ang pagpapatupad at pamamahagi sa kanila ng tulong na lubha nilang kailangan sa mga panahong ito,” Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera said.

Herrera particularly called out the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which recently announced that it has yet to come up with guidelines on the fuel subsidies for both the transportation and agricultural sectors.

“At times of crisis, those in government are expected to act with reasonable dispatch in providing much-needed relief to the public,” Herrera, representative of Bagong Henerasyon (BH), said.

“The government should not dilly-dally in taking action and in helping our kababayans, especially those in the public transport sector who are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-19),” Herrera added.

Herrera said the “double blow of COVID-19 and oil price shock is hitting drivers and operators of public utility vehicles particularly hard.”

“That’s why it is important for the government to come to their rescue, otherwise there’s no way for them to cope with rising fuel prices and their families will go hungry,” she pointed out.

The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) earlier said it was ready to disburse P2.5 billion for fuel subsidies on top of P500 million for farmers and fisherfolk, but Malacañang said it would be up to the DBM to interpret the law.

The 2022 General Appropriations Act provides funds to bankroll fuel subsidies to the transportation and agriculture sectors, but only if crude oil prices reach $80 per barrel for three consecutive months.

The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) meanwhile, said it had already asked the DBM to expedite the matter.