P1-B fuel subsidy for transport sector welcomed

October 28, 2021 People's Journal 355 views

THE PASAHERO Party-list welcomed the P1 billion fuel subsidy intervention of the government for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, saying it would greatly benefit one of the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a step in the right direction in helping the transport sector cope with the rising fuel prices, which is happening while it is still reeling from the devastating impact of the pandemic,” said lawyer Homer Alinsug, the spokesperson of the party-list group.

Alinsug said the fuel subsidy would not only be beneficial to PUV drivers, but also to the riding public who may no longer have to face the prospect of a fare hike.

“Napakalaking tulong nito sa transport sector at maging ang mga commuter ay makakahinga ng maluwag mula sa pangambang magtataas na naman ng pasahe dahil sa sunod-sunod na pagtaas ng presyo ng produktong petrolyo,” Alinsug said.

PASAHERO, also known as the Passengers and Riders Organization Inc., is a party-list group representing Filipino commuters and passengers. The Commission on Elections recently declared the group as a party-list candidate eligible to participate in the May 2022 general elections.

The party-list group thanked the government’s economic team for committing to transfer P1 billion to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for cash grants to PUV drivers hurting from soaring fuel prices.

The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said the fuel aid is a short-term scheme to cushion PUV drivers from high pump prices.

Around 178,000 PUV drivers are set to benefit from the subsidy to be disbursed by the LTFRB in the remaining months of 2021, according to the DBCC.

The PASAHERO Party-list called on the LTFRB to “quickly disburse the subsidy to the intended beneficiaries” once the funds are released to the agency.

“Pagkalabas ng pondo, nananawagan tayo sa ating LTFRB na huwag ng magpatumpik-tumpik. Siguraduhing maipamigay na agad ang ayuda para sa ating transport group,” Alinsug said.

The decision to grant fuel subsidy to PUV drivers came as global oil prices continue to soar to over US$80 per barrel, affecting domestic fuel prices.