The Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently made clear that it will not be enforcing a fare hike to help PUV drivers cope with the rising fuel prices. The agency said it will instead look into other solutions, such as financial aid.
Now, the DOTr has announced that the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has agreed to release P1 billion to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) as fuel subsidies to help support the transportation sector.
Qualified drivers will receive cash grants through the Pantawid Pasada Program of the LTFRB, and disbursement shall be handled by the Land Bank of the Philippines. Money will be transferred directly to the cash cards that have been issued to the drivers. No word on how much each driver will be receiving, but the Philippine News Agency said in a report that some 178,000 drivers will benefit from the subsidy.
DOTr assistant secretary Mark Steven Pastor reiterated in a separate statement that fuel-price hikes should not be shouldered by the passengers. “Ayaw po namin sa Kagawaran na tumaas ang pamasahe dahil para po sa amin walang kinalaman ang commuting public sa pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo kaya ayaw namin na sila ang pumasan dito,” he said.
Tell us, commuters: Would you mind seeing a fare increase, or would you rather have the government give out these cash aids instead? The comments section is open.
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