Over 100,000 “Pantawid Pasada” fuel subsidy cards distributed to operators, drivers —DOTr
Maris Federez • December 30, 2019 • 518
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation announced on Monday (December 30) on its official Facebook page that it has already distributed to more than 100,000 legitimate jeepney operators another round of fuel subsidy under the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP).
Each operator received Php20,514.76, deposited to their Pantawid Pasada Cash card which they or their driver can use in purchasing fuel.
In total, the government has distributed more than Php2.2-Billion subsidy to jeepney operators nationwide.
The transport group, Pasang Masda, undermined the said government aid saying that such is not enough for the drivers and operators to recover from the effects of the additional excise tax on petroleum prices brought about by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
Pasang Masda president Obet Martin said a driver spends between Php1,500 and 2,000 every day for diesel.
Although the group admitted that the PPP aid could be of help to their sector, its effect on their expenditures is very minimal.
“So ilang araw lang yun? 10 days lang yun. So pagkatapos nun nganga ang driver. Tulong rin ito pero pansamantala lang,” he said.
The group believes that the only solution for them to recover from the heavy effect of the excise tax on petroleum products is the implementation of a fare hike on jeepneys.
The group, along with other transport groups, plans to file their petition before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in January 2020 which seeks to have the minimum jeepney fare raised to Php11.00.
The group clarified, however, that they are not opposed to the implementation of the TRAIN Law, as they see the benefits it brings to the government’s Build, Build, Build Program.
This early, the group seeks the commuting public’s understanding amid the impending filing of petition for a fare increase.
“Unawain nyo po ang aming katatayuan sapagkat kayo po ay inuunawa naming. Ayaw namin magtaas, subalit diktado ng pandaigdigang merkado yung pagtaas ng presyo ng petroleum products,” Martin said. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to create a task force that will closely monitor the implementation of the new round of increases in excise tax on fuel.
Gatchalian made the call as the third and last tranche of tax hikes on petroleum products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law took effect on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.
He said that under the TRAIN Law, the estimated rate impact on pump price for unleaded premium gasoline would be around ₱1.01 per liter, while the estimated rate impact of the third tranche of the excise tax on diesel price is ₱1.65 per liter.
For 100 percent coal contracted power distribution utilities, the estimated rate impact is around ₱0.03 per kilowatt hour.
The senator said the creation of the task force is aimed to protect consumers from premature price increases and profiteering.
“Kailangan paigtinging mabuti ng Department of Energy (DOE) ang pagbabantay laban sa hoarding at profiteering sa bansa ngayong nakaamba ang dagdag na excise tax sa huling pagkakataon,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“Huwag na nating hayaan ang ilang mapagsamantalang retailers na ibenta sa mataas na halaga ang kanilang mga lumang imbentaryong produkto, gayong nabili nila ito bago pa man maimplementa ang third tranche ng excise tax sa fuel,” he added.
Gatchalian noted that local oil companies maintain a minimum inventory equivalent to 15-day supply of petroleum products as provided under DOE’s Department Circular No. 2003-01-001 or the Implementing Guidelines for the Minimum Inventory Requirements of Petroleum of Oil Companies and Bulk Suppliers.
The DOE earlier said the new round of fuel tax hikes are only applicable to new stocks imported beginning January 1, 2020. It also advised oil firms to deplete old stocks before implementing new price schemes reflecting the new levies.
Gatchalian also called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to monitor the prices of goods in the market in order to ensure that unscrupulous businessmen will not take advantage and pass on the impact of higher oil prices to consumers as a result of the third tranche of the TRAIN law implementation.
“Mabigat na sa bulsa ng bawat isa ang pagpataw ng excise tax sa krudo. Sana naman ay huwag na natin dagdagan ang pasanin ng taong bayan sa pamamagitan ng hindi makatarungang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin,” he said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is mulling over extending the deadline of fuel card distribution under the government’s Pantawid Pasada Program.
This is because, to date, only very few operators have availed of the said fuel cards.
Some said they were busy while some have still yet to complete their requirements.
The initial deadline was set on February 28.
LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra said, “As of the latest, there was a deadline that we have set earlier of February 28. But last week, February 19, there was a meeting with the technical working group. There were discussions that Feb 28 might be too close and therefore it might be extended.”
The latest LTFRB data shows that of the 173,000 total target beneficiaries, only around 87,000 have availed of the fuel cards.
Delgra added that the LTFRB is putting its best efforts to fast track the process and is intensifying its information campaign so that jeepney operators will realize the importance of availing themselves of the program.
Currently, each card carries P5,000 worth of fuel.
The government plans to have the value of the fuel cards be increased to P20,000 under the 2019 national budget.
The LTFRB, however, is yet to determine as to when the increased subsidy will take place. – Maris Federez (with reports from Joan Nano)
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) reminds legitimate franchise holders of Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJ) that they only have until Thursday, February 28 to claim their fuel cards under the government’s Pantawid Pasada program.
Under the program, fuel vouchers in the form of cash cards will be provided to PUJ qualified franchise holders to help them cope with the additional excise tax on fuel products under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
For 2019, PUJ drivers are given P20,514 under the program. The fuel cards are processed by the Land Bank of the Philippines and funded through the TRAIN Act.
Drivers can use the Pantawid Pasada cards in select gasoline stations across the country.
The LTFRB in a statement said that around 86,000 cards are yet to be distributed to beneficiaries nationwide out of the more than 170,000 national target of beneficiaries in 2018.
For beneficiaries who cannot personally claim their fuel cards, the LTFRB reiterated that they are already accepting notarized Special Power of Attorney (SPA) that can be downloaded from their website or are available in their office.
The notarized SPA can be brought by the beneficiary’s representatives to their respective LTFRB offices, along with an original photocopy of identification card of the franchise holder and of the representative; original OR/CR, original copy of CPC or proof of franchise, and recent photo of qualified franchise holder.
The board also urged the public to visit their accounts on social media for the complete list of fuel subsidy program beneficiaries. – Robie de Guzman (with reports from Mon Jocson)
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