PARTIDO Reporma standard-bearer Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson called on government agencies tasked to distribute fuel subsidies for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to consider helping some tricycle drivers and operators without franchises because they, too, are affected by oil price hikes.
Concerns among the disenfranchised drivers who would naturally be left out of the state-funded ‘pantawid pasada’ program surfaced when Lacson held town hall meetings during his visits to Tuguegarao City and Sanchez Mira, Cagayan last Tuesday (March 14).
According to members of various tricycle operators’ and drivers’ associations (TODA) Lacson spoke with, they have colleagues who wanted to access the same benefits, but would be unable to do so because they failed to apply for franchises through no fault of their own.
Lacson acknowledged these concerns and said the matter is best addressed to the leadership of their local government units (LGU), which are in the position to resolve these issues with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
“Hindi ito question ng ‘if’ may ayuda. Mayroon talagang ayuda at kasali kayo. Pero ‘yung usaping colorum, apat na driver sa isang tricycle, hindi ko na po kayang sagutin ‘yon. Sinasabi ko lang po mayroong P5-billion at kung kayo aytricycle driver na legal dapat makakuha kayo ng ayuda,” he told tricycle drivers in Sanchez Mira.
Lacson said he is aware there are tricycle drivers who are being denied their applications for a franchise, so the LGUs can exercise some degree of control in the traffic situation of their streets and prevent a ‘glut’ or oversupply of PUVs on the roads.
“Alam niyo, problema rin ng mga local government units, mine-maintain nila ‘yung, ‘di ba, parang meron silang sabihin na nating limit o quota… Kasi kung lahat pagbibigyan nila magsisikip naman ‘yung traffic,” the longtime public servant explained.
You know, the LGUs also have a problem of their own because they are trying to maintain or they are observing what we call a limit or quota… Because if they are going to accept all of it (applications for franchises), it would worsen the traffic.
“Magkakaroon ng tinatawag na ‘glut’ [at] sa ganoon ‘yung competition masyadong magiging—masyadong fierce ‘yung competition. So, ‘yon ang problema, kailangan ma-resolve ‘yan with the local government unit concerned,” Lacson added.
Lacson earlier advised TODA organizations to prepare a verified list of their members and coordinate right away with their LGUs, so they could receive their fuel subsidy out of the P5-billion allocated by the government for such purpose amid the soaring prices of oil in the global market