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Aquino wants dialogue with transport groups

President Benigno Aquino III wants to hold a dialogue with transport group leaders to determine their sentiments on oil price hikes, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Friday. At a press briefing, Valte said, “Gusto pong makipag-dialogo ng Pangulong Aquino dun sa mga leaders ng transport groups para po mapag-usapan po yung kanilang mga concerns at kung ano po yung puwede nating magawa para po ma-address itong mga concerns na ito." There is no definite date yet on when the meeting would take place but it would probably be held before Aquino leaves for his official visit to America around the fourth week of September, Valte said. Valte said the President who made the decision to meet with the transport groups although he has yet to discuss it with his Cabinet. Asked what Aquino would promise to transport groups, Valte said she cannot say yet. “Hindi po natin alam kung ano exactly yung concerns na ire-raise ng mga transport groups kay Pangulong Aquino. Of course we have an idea of what will be discussed, but hindi pa po natin alam kung ano yung final na kanilang pag-uusapan, and as such, it’s too early to say if he will be promising them anything or if it’s just a dialogue," she said. She said Department of Energy would be the lead coordinator for the meeting, which will probably tackle the proposed provisional fare hike. “Hopefully they (transport groups) will take that up with the President kapag nakapagpulong na po sila," she said. She believed the meeting could avert a fare increase which would affect the riding public. “Nakikita po natin na tuloy po yung pagtaas at gusto po natin makita kung ano yung puwede nating gawin. Baka po sabihin ng iba bakit di po yung riding public (ang kinausap), katulad po ng ginawa natin sa Pantawid Pasada program, aabatan po yung pagtaaas ng presyo which affects the riding public," she said. Pantawid Pasada In May, in a nationwide targeted financial assistance program amid rising oil prices, jeepney drivers received Pantawid Pasada cards loaded with P1,050 each. In the same month, tricycle operators received a similar fuel subsidy of P150 each. Asked if the government has plans to resume the Pantawid Pasada program, Valte said they have yet to receive any advice from the DOE “As of the moment, we have no advice kung magkakaroon po ng second tranche of Pantawid Pasada depende sa pag-uusapan nila kapag nagpulong na po ang Pangulo kasama po yung (mga) lider ng transport groups," she said. - VVP, GMA News