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PASAHERO to DOTR: Fast-track release of fuel subsidy guidelines, include trikers

March 6, 2022 People's Journal 636 views

WITH concerned government agencies still fleshing out the guidelines on fuel subsidies while the prices of fuel continue to go up, the PASAHERO reiterated its appeal to make sure to include tricycle drivers in the coverage of the government’s Pantawid Pasada program.

“This is now the chance of the government to extend help to our suffering tricycle drivers, who have been surprisingly left out of the program in the past that is supposed to assist vulnerable members of the transport sector amid the pandemic and the nonstop oil price hikes,” said PASAHERO Partylist founder Robert Nazal.

The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) had announced the fuel subsidies for the transport and agricultural sectors as global oil prices surpassed the $100-per barrel threshold for the first time since 2014.

However, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which chairs the DBCC, announced that it is still awaiting the guidelines to be released by the Department of Transportation (DoTR).

Nazal urged the DoTR to fast-track the guidelines so the fuel subsidies can be distributed to the beneficiaries, which he said should include tricycle drivers as mandated in the General Appropriations Act of 2022.

“Kapag natulungan natin ang ating public transport sector, malaking ginhawa ang dulot nito maging sa ating mga commuters at pasahero,” Nazal pointed out.

He maintained that the so-called “tatlong gulong” sectors also deserve financial aid to cope with the rising oil prices amid continued pandemic.

He acknowledged the National Capital Region Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (NCR TODA) Coalition headed by Ismael Sevilla for being one of Pasahero Partylist’s partners in vigorously pushing for the inclusion of the tricycle drivers in the fuel subsidy program.

Nazal earlier said that tricycle drivers are undoubtedly among the worst hit by the health crisis, suffering a triple whammy of impacts.

“Humina ang kanilang pasada, tumaas ang presyo ng langis pero wala silang natanggap na ayuda mula sa national government, at sa kabila nito hindi naman tumaas ang kanilang pasahe,” Nazal said, adding:

“Tayo ay umaasa na ang ayudang ito ay makakarating sa ating mga trike drivers ora mismo.”

PASAHERO Partylist co-founder Allan Yap said the government should make sure “tricycle drivers are not left behind amid the crises of COVID-19 and soaring oil prices.”

“It is time that we give fuel subsidy to tricycle drivers not only because they badly needed it, but also as a token for their service during this pandemic where they serve as the primary mode of transport for many of our kababayans,” Yap said.

PASAHERO, also known as the Passengers and Riders Organization Inc., is a non-stock and non-profit organization that seeks to represent the riding public in road, sea, and air, including tricycle operators and drivers all over the Philippines. It aims to address the issues brought about by the mass transportation crisis in the country.

The Commission on Elections has declared PASAHERO Partylist as among the party-list groups eligible to participate in the May 2022 general elections.

PASAHERO Partylist has been endorsed by various federations of tricycle operators and drivers associations (TODA) in Luzon, including the 150,000-strong NCR TODA Coalition and the Panlalawigan Pederasyon ng Bulacan, which is comprised of 24 city and municipal TODAs in the province with around 103,000 members.