The national government is set to provide the operators of public utility jeepneys and drivers P3.9 billion in fuel subsidies next year under the Pantawid Pasada Program, Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Friday.
“The amount is nearly four times the P1 billion earmarked this year for the fuel subsidy program,” Atienza said.
The fresh funding for the program is contained in the proposed P3.757-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2019 that Malacañang submitted to Congress, Atienza said.
“We favor the program. Besides helping PUJ operators and drivers ride out the rising fuel costs, it will also in a way shield consumers―the jeepney passengers―by reducing the upward pressure on fares in the months ahead,” Atienza said.
This year, a total of 179,852 jeepney operators and drivers across the country will each receive P5,000 in Pantawid Pasada cash card covering their subsidy for July to December at a rate of P833 per month.
The beneficiaries may then use the cash card to pay for fuel purchases at the gas stations.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board began distributing the fuel cash cards last month.
The LTFRB under the Department of Transportation is among the agencies involved in Pantawid Pasada.
The Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Energy and the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines are also involved in the program.
The incremental funding for Pantawid Pasada is one of the “social mitigating measures” under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.