Drivers and operators of public utility vehicles affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns will receive cash subsidies under the Bayanihan recovery plan in exchange for plying the routes for the government, LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra iii said on Thursday.
At a Palace briefing, Delgra said drivers and operators would be under a service contracting program of the government, as a means to distribute the subsidies.
He said P5.8 billion was allocated for the subsidy of the affected sector. Of that amount, P3 billion is dedicated for drivers of public utility jeepneys.
“‘Yung paglalaan ng pondo patungkol dito sa service contracting. Ang serbisyo ng ating mga driver at operator would be subsidized by the government,” Delgra said.
“But the subsidy is based on what we call performance-based. Meron pong mga indicators na kailangan po nating mailagay sa sistema, for which they will conform," he added.
Delgra said one aspect of increasing capacity is adding more units, but he pointed out that the other is also having PUV units operate on the road.
“Longer than they would want to or they would need to kasi nga walang kumpyansa sa pagpapatakbo,” he added.
Under the service contracting, the government will regulate the number of operating hours for the drivers and operators.
To resolve drivers’ and operators’ low income due to its reliance on ridership amid the policy of limited passenger capacity, Delgra said they can keep their income and, in addition, the subsidy under the program.
“Mas maganda na may resulta itong pagtutulong sa driver, operator doon na mismo sa ating tinatawag na ultimate stakeholders, ‘yung mga mananakay,” he added.
The program will run from October to December, Delgra said. -NB, GMA News