Amid rising world oil prices, Go welcomes gov’t grant of fuelsubsidies for affected PUV drivers

Amid rising world oil prices, Go welcomes gov’t grant of fuel
subsidies for affected PUV drivers

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has welcomed the
decision of the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination
Committee, composed of the Office of the President, Department of
Budget and Management, Department of Finance, and the National
Economic and Development Authority, to grant fuel subsidies to public
utility drivers who are affected by the increasing world oil prices.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanilang mabilis na pagtugon sa panawagan
natin. Alam naman po natin na sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, sabay
ring tumataas ang presyo ng pangunahing bilihin. Pabigat po ito lalo
na sa mga karaniwang Pilipino, lalo na’t may pandemya. Kaya naman
malaki po ang maitutulong ng subsidiyang ito upang kahit papaano ay
maibsan ang suliraning ito,” he added.

In a joint statement, the DBCC stated that it is “committed to support
our transportation sector, amidst the increasing oil prices.”

To address the burden imposed by the increasing oil prices on the
public, the government will release PhP1 billion to the Land
Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to provide cash grants
to around 178,000 bonafide PUV drivers for the remaining months of the
year.

These will be distributed using the system established under the
Pantawid Pasada Program of the LTFRB.

“Bagama’t mahirap ang buhay ngayon, huwag po tayong mawalan ng pag-asa
dahil walang tigil ang ating pagtatrabaho upang maproteksyunan ang
buhay, kabuhayan at tiyan ng mga Pilipino,” Go assured.

“Kasabay ng paglaban natin sa COVID-19, patuloy rin nating pinupuksa
ang hirap at gutom na nararamdaman ng marami sa ating mga kababayan.
Walang Pilipino ang dapat mapag-iwanan sa ating muling pagbangon
bilang isang mas matatag na bansa,” he added.

Previously, Go has urged concerned agencies to study the possibility
of offering fuel discounts and subsidy for strategic sectors as the
rising world oil prices burden the Filipino public.

Go believes that by giving these benefits, the government will be able
to help Filipinos cope with economic and financial burdens.

“Sa pagbibigay ng discount o subsidy, mas mapapagaan natin ang bigat
na dulot ng pagtaas ng presyo ng langis,” said Go.

“Sa panahon po ng krisis, gawin natin ang lahat para maibsan ang
pinapasan ng ating mga kababayan. Bawat buhay po ay pinapahalagahan
natin lalo na ‘yung mga walang ibang matakbuhan. Sila po ang
prayoridad natin dito, kapakanan nila ang ipinaglalaban ko rito,” he
added.

As global economic activity improves and nations reopen, energy prices
rise from record lows set in 2020.

Following a surge in the third quarter, the World Bank predicts that
world oil prices would remain elevated until 2022, adding to
inflationary strains in countries like the Philippines which import
all of its oil supplies.

Energy prices are expected to be substantially higher in 2021 than
they were in 2020 and to remain in such level until the first half of
2022.

Go also called for the possibility of amending pertinent laws to allow
the temporary suspension of fuel excise tax at times when the world
oil price rises.

“Pag-aralan din natin ang posibleng pag-amyenda sa kasalukuyang batas
upang mapahintulutan ang temporary suspension ng fuel excise tax sa
panahong masyadong mataas ang presyo ng langis sa world market.
Mandato nating nasa gobyerno na pagaanin ang bigat na dinadala ng
ating mga kababayan, lalo na ngayong meron pa tayong krisis na pilit
malampasan. Huwag na nating dagdagan ang pahirap sa kanila,” he added.

Finally, Go stated that continuing projects to strengthen the
country’s mass transportation infrastructure will be critical in
guaranteeing that Filipinos can travel quickly and comfortably despite
the ongoing challenges.

“Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit hinahangad natin na maipagpatuloy ang
mga magagandang proyekto at programa na nasimulan ng Administrasyong
Duterte lalo na ang mga imprastraktura na magpapabuti sa ating mass
transportation system upang maging mas komportable at maginhawa ang
buhay para sa lahat tulad ng ipinangako ng Pangulo. Ito ang magiging
susi para sa tuluy-tuloy na pag-unlad ng bansa at pagbalik ng sigla ng
ekonomiya pagkatapos ng pandemya,” said Go.
(ai/mtvn)

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