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LTFRB: P1-B fund for fuel subsidy meant for PUJ drivers only

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday said that the P1-billion fund to be released for fuel subsidies to support public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers amid the continuous increase in fuel prices is solely to be distributed to public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers.

“‘Yung pondo na ito ay para sa PUJ sector lang po ito (This fund is only for the PUJ sector),” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said at a virtual press conference.

On Monday, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said it would release P1 billion to the LTFRB for cash grants to PUV drivers.

The amount is expected to cover 178,000 PUV drivers for the remaining months of the year, which will be distributed using the system established under the Pantawid Pasada Program.

Delgra, however, said the LTFRB is still finalizing the list of PUJ driver-beneficiaries to determine how much cash grant will be given to each driver.

“So far as fund downloading is concerned, it will start with a fund request with DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and one of the requirements is a list of the drivers who will benefit from the program,” he said.

The LTFRB chief said the amount of fuel subsidy to be given to each beneficiary will be determined by the agency within the week.

As to why only jeepney drivers are entitled for the fuel subsidy, Delgra said the PUJ sector has the largest percentage in terms of public transport coverage.

He said that route-based modes such as PUJs have bigger ridership and capacity compared to taxis and Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS), which are non-route-based modes.

For buses, the LTFRB chief said the Department of Transportation has an ongoing Service Contracting Program, which it expects will be continued next year after the House of Representatives approved a P6-billion budget for the program’s continuation under the proposed 2022 budget.

“The distribution of the cash grant or fuel subsidy for our PUJ drivers would be under the Pantawid Pasada Program that we started in 2018,” Delgra said.

“The initial consensus of Landbank at LTFRB during the coordination meeting this morning is to make use of the same program, using Pantawid Pasada cards para mabilis ang pag-distribute ng ayuda sa ating mga tsuper (to fast-track the distribution of the cash aid for our jeepney drivers),” he said.—AOL, GMA News