By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
At least 10,000 fuel vouchers will be initially distributed next week as the Department of Transportation and other agencies launched the government’s fuel subsidy program Thursday.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Atty. Martin Delgra III said that the fuel vouchers will be distributed slightly later than what was previously announced, following directive from Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
“The targeted 10,000 [cards] to be distributed on the launching, we will be able to give that, but, overtime. We are looking, maybe, on Monday or Tuesday [next week],” Delgra said in an interview after the program launching in Quezon City Thursday.
On Wednesday, the DOTr, and LTFRB, with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Energy (DoE), and the Land Bank of the Philippines signed a joint memorandum circular on the Pantawid Pasada Program.
The Pantawid Pasada Program will cover 179,850 public utility jeepney units with existing LTFRB franchises.
Target beneficiaries will be given a P5,000 subsidy from July to December to help them cope with increasing pump prices brought by the tax reform law.
Under Section 82 of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, qualified jeepney franchise holders are entitled to fuel vouchers as prices of fuel are expected to increase.
During the launching of the Pantawid Pasada Program at the Land Transportation Office building, beneficiaries were asked to fill-up forms for the debit cards to be processed by the LBP.
The LTFRB will manage the distribution of the cards to operators, which will indicate the operator’s name and plate number of the PUJ units to avoid misuse.
Aside from the forms, subsidy recipients should also attend a briefing on the distribution of cards, and orientation on the selected gas stations where they can purchase the fuel, Delgra explained.
Delgra added that during their meetings, the technical working group decided to distribute the subsidy on a monthly basis where PUJ operators will receive P800 in the next six months.
The LTFRB chief said that once the operators received the card, they can immediately use it to purchase fuel.
A total of P977-million was allocated for the fuel subsidy program this year, while Delgra said, they proposed a higher budget for the program next year.