MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to ensure that public jeepney drivers and operators will get complete fuel subsidies this year under government’s Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) amid adjustments in oil prices.
“We want to urge the DOTr to ensure that all legitimate franchise holders would be able to get their vouchers on time,” Gatchalian said in a press statement.
“Give us an update on that kasi may mga price adjustments later on and we want to know if the Pantawid has been fully implemented as of this point,” he added.
The senator raised the issue during the recent Senate inquiry on the security plan of the Department of Energy following drone attacks that damaged key facilities of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (ARAMCO) earlier this month.
The attacks contributed to the recent spike in local fuel prices. Last week, gasoline prices increased by P2.35 per liter, diesel by P1.80 and kerosene by ₱1.75 a liter.
This week, local oil companies have announced a price rollback on their petroleum products.
The PPP was launched in July 2018 in an aim to mitigate the impact of fuel price increases due to the imposition of excise taxes under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
From the initial P5,000 in 2018, the amount of the subsidy rose to P20,514 in 2019.
However, Gatchalian noted that only 87,000 of the intended 173,000 beneficiaries nationwide have received their fuel cards last year during a time when oil prices and inflation were rapidly peaking.
The lawmaker said that the poor distribution of the PPP last year meant a lot of public utility drivers were not able to avail of the fuel subsidies that they were entitled to.
Gatchalian has asked the DOTr to submit its latest data on the fuel subsidies to determine whether it is on-track in achieving the 100 percent distribution of the fuel cards.
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