Senators called on Wednesday to expedite the assistance to public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators amid the latest big-time oil price hike implemented by oil companies.
In a statement, Senator Joel Villanueva urged the government to hasten the distribution of assistance for both the transport and agriculture sectors.
Villanueva pushed for an additional PHP2-billion assistance on top of the government’s existing PHP500 million worth of fuel subsidy for the farmers and fisherfolk.
Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros wants the petition to increase the minimum fare of public utility jeepneys reviewed immediately to help boost the earnings of the drivers amid the rising fuel prices.
“Dapat timbangin mabuti ang petisyon sa taas-pasahe. Noong 2018 pa P9 pesos ang minimum fare. Doble na ang itinaas sa presyo ng krudo, marapat lang siguro na pakinggan ang hinaing ng ating mga tsuper (The petition of fare increase should be balanced. It was still in last 2018 that the minimum fare of PHP9 was implemented. The increase in the price of diesel already doubled, it is time to listen to PUV drivers,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
She also urged the government to use the excise tax on fuels to improve the public transport system and fund the service contracting program.
To help cushion the impact of higher fuel prices on the most vulnerable sectors, the government has increased the total budget for targeted subsidies to PHP6.1 billion.
As of June 1, 2022, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board reported that over 180,000 PUV drivers and operators have already received their PHP6,500 fuel subsidy under the government’s Pantawid Pasada program.
Also, more than 158,000 farmers and fisherfolk are each set to receive PHP3,000 worth of fuel subsidy. (PNA)