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LTFRB sets rollout of 2nd part fuel aid by late June or early July

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Saturday that the rollout of the second tranche of the P5-billion fuel subsidy program for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators is set late this month or early July.

In an interview on Dobol B TV, LTFRB Executive Director Tina Cassion said the agency is preparing documents for the distribution of another P6,500 fuel subsidy for each PUV sector beneficiary.

Cassion said that as of last week only less than 5,000 of the 377,000 beneficiaries are yet to receive the first tranche of the fuel subsidy.

“[By] last week of June or early July [we’ll] implement the second tranche,” she said, noting that beneficiaries of the second tranche are the same as those who received the first tranche.

The LTFRB released the list of beneficiaries with credited fuel subsidy. 

Divided into two equal tranches, the government’s P5-B fuel subsidy program aims to extend P6,500 cash grants to each of the 377,000 beneficiaries, including LTFRB-supervised PUV drivers and operators, tricycle drivers and operators under the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and delivery riders under the Department of Trade and Industry.

According to LTFRB, the fuel subsidy program had served as a stopgap measure in lieu of a sought-for minimum fare hike increase amid soaring oil prices.

But, Cassion said that the LTFRB decided to review its earlier decision to reject the P1 provisional minimum jeepney fare hike petitions amid the still skyrocketing prices of fuel.

Early this week, the agency approved a P1 provisional increase on the minimum fare of jeepneys in Metro Manila, Region 3 and Region 4. 

In the meantime, the LTFRB is reviewing the main petitions of transport groups UTAK, PASANG MASDA, ALTODAP AND ACTO to increase the minimum fare from P9 to P14 and LTOP’s petition to hike the minimum jeepney fare to P15 is also pending resolution. 

Cassion said the LTFRB will have a last hearing on the said petitions on June 28.

She said that apart from increasing the minimum jeepney fare, the groups also seek to increase the fare per succeeding kilometers of travel by P2.50.

TNVS petitions

Cassion also said that the LTFRB will conduct a final hearing on the petition of the Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) sector to increase their flagdown rate and fare for per kilometer and minutes of travel.

According to her, TNVS petitions are asking to increase the flagdown rate for sedan from P40 to P55, AUVs and SUVs from P50 to P70, and hatchback from P30 to P40.

For sedan and AUVs and SUVs, the petition is for an increase to P20 of per kilometer of travel from the current P15 and P18 while for hatchback to hike the per kilometer fare to P16 from P13.

For all types of TNVS vehicle, Cassion said the petition wants a uniform P3 per minute of travel time charge from the current P2.

But she assured the public that whatever the agency’s board decision will be, it is  guided by the principle of “balancing of interests” of both drivers and commuters.

“The board may grant at the entirety or reduced hikes,” Cassion said. —LBG, GMA News