Gatchalian reiterates the need to institutionalize fuel subsidies after another round of price hike

Gatchalian reiterates the need to institutionalize fuel subsidies after another round of price hike

By Liza Soriano

MANILA — Senator Win Gatchalian has once again called on the Land Transportation Regulatory and Franchising Board (LTFRB) and other concerned organizations to guarantee an effective and timely fuel subsidy program for affected sectors should price hikes continue.

This comes amid a significant increase in the price of petroleum today.

“Kung meron na sana tayong batas para sa ayuda ng mga tsuper at operator ng public utility vehicles o PUV, hindi na sila mahihirapan pang pasanin ang bigat ng epekto ng pagtaas ng presyo ng langis lalo na’t patuloy din ang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin,” Gatchalian said.

The senator emphasized how important it is to institutionalize the Pantawid Pasada Program, which is why he previously introduced Senate Bill No. 384, which establishes an energy subsidy program with the goal of institutionalizing Pantawid Pasada.

Under the proposed measure, the subsidy shall be granted to qualified beneficiaries when the average price of Dubai crude for three consecutive months is equal to, or greater than $80 per barrel such as in the case now. Dubai crude was last traded at $95.80/barrel.

The senator added that it requires the use of digital payment systems in the distribution of the subsidy and imposes penalties against erring government officials for failure to ensure the timely release of the subsidy to all qualified beneficiaries.

“The concerned government agencies should be ready to intervene with an efficient implementation of the Pantawid-Pasada program whenever there are series of oil price hikes. We should have learned the lessons from the previous disbursement,” Gatchalian stressed. (ai/mtvn)

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