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Gov’t earmarks P4B for fuel subsidy of drivers, farmers —DBM

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Thursday said the Marcos administration has earmarked a total of P4 billion this year to provide fuel subsidy to drivers and farmers as the country recovers from the pandemic.

In a statement, the DBM said the allotted amount is charged against the regular budgets of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

“As directed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., this administration will continue providing fuel subsidies to our kababayan, especially in the most vulnerable sectors — public transport and agriculture,” said Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman.

“Kagagaling lang po natin sa pandemya. Naiintindihan po natin na maraming naapektuhang drivers and even our farmers and fisherfolks (We just came from the pandemic. We understand that a lot of drivers and even farmers were affected). We are banking on our transport and agriculture sector to boost economic recovery. And so we need to provide them the help and boost they need," added Pangandaman.

The DBM said a total of P3 billion was earmarked in the national budget to cover fuel vouchers for qualified public utility vehicle (PUV), taxi, tricycle, and full-time ride-hailing and delivery service drivers nationwide.

The Budget department said the amount is P500 million higher than the P2.5 billion in the 2022 budget's fuel subsidy program.

This aims to cushion the impact of high oil prices on thousands of PUV drivers, it said.

The program's implementation is subject to guidelines issued by the DOTr, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the DBM.

Beneficiaries will be validated and identified by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the DBM said.

On the other hand, the agency said P1 billion is appropriated to provide fuel assistance to farmers and fisherfolk.

The amount was earmarked to provide fuel subsidies to more than 312,000 farmers and fisherfolk with P3,000 per beneficiary, to ensure unimpeded agricultural production and fishing operations, according to the DBM. —VAL, GMA Integrated News