By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Win Gatchalian urged concerned agencies to ramp up the distribution of fuel subsidies under the Pantawid Pasada Program to the targeted beneficiaries to alleviate the impact of oil price hikes imposed by oil companies this week.
“Katapusan na ng buwan at nakatakda nang ibigay ngayong Abril ang ikalawang bugso ng Pantawid Pasada. Sa takbo ng mga pangyayari, mukhang malayo pa sa kalahati ang naipapamigay na fuel subsidy. May nakalaan namang pondo para dito. Sana ay madaliin na ang pamimigay nito upang maibsan ang pasanin ng ating mga public utility drivers,” Gatchalian said.
So far, only 115,000 PUV drivers and operators out of the 377,443 beneficiaries have each received P6,500 fuel subsidy which is good for three months.
The government doubled its budget for the Pantawid Pasada program to P5 billion from the initial P 2.5 billion to cushion soaring pump prices. The first tranche of the subsidies covering December 2021, January, and February 2022 was supposed to be released this month while the second tranche covering March, April, and May will be released in April.
“Gaya ng mga jeepney drivers, ang mga namamasada at nagtatrabaho ring tricycle drivers at delivery service riders ay nangangailangan ng ayuda dahil sila rin ay apektado ng pagtataas ng presyo ng krudo. Sana ay gawing agaran ang pamimigay ng Pantawid Pasada sa mga dapat makinabang nito,” the re-electionist senator said.
Gatchalian, in a hearing conducted by his Senate Energy Committee some two weeks ago, noted the delay in the processing of the distribution of fuel subsidies to tricycle drivers and delivery service riders.
He reiterated his call on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and local government units (LGUs) to fast track the distribution of fuel subsidies to 113,000 tricycle drivers and delivery services who are also part of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pasada Program. (ai/mtvn)