By Myrna Velasco
The subsidy to public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers in the country may reach as much as P2,542.90 monthly in the two-tranche price discounts to be extended by the government, the Department of Energy (DOE) revealed today.
For the first installment this 2018, it was noted that the total amount of subsidy per driver could be P5,000 over six months. “Drivers will receive a monthly subsidy of P833.33,” the energy department noted.
The next phase in 2019 will be at P1,709.57 monthly per driver and that will amount to P20,514.82 over one year.
That shall be courtesy of the “cost softening scheme” for the public transport drivers that has to be extended as a support mechanism to the marginalized segments, courtesy of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.
The DOE said the “Pantawid Pasada Program” will be covering 179,852 units of legitimate public utility jeepneys (PUJ) – or those that still have valid registrations with the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The discount scheme – to be enforced through vouchers that can be used as payment for fuel purchases at gasoline stations – will be implemented over a two-year period.
A memorandum circular has already been inked by relevant government agencies this week – with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) taking the lead in the fuel vouchers’ rollout.
The rising oil prices in recent months emerged anew as a compelling reason for the public transport to get agitated over the delayed implementation of what they had long been expecting as cost subsidy from the law that had pulled up excise taxes for petroleum products.
Public utility vehicles benefited from the initial salvo of price discounts in the past months – but these were still due to the ‘corporate social responsibility’ of the oil firms.