Gov’t sets aside P1.1 B for subsidies to public transport sector affected by COVID-19

Published November 4, 2020, 10:32 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has set aside P1.1 billion for the planned distribution of subsidies to the public transportation sector affected by the coronavirus lockdown.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

In a report to Congress on the Bayanihan 2 implementation, President Duterte said assistance program of the Department of Transportation includes augmenting the fuel subsidy cards of qualified public utility vehicle units.

“As part of the programs to assist critically-impacted businesses in the transportation industry, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is working on a nationwide program to provide direct subsidies to qualified public utility vehicle units, through loads or credits in their existing jeepney fuel cash cards and by over-the-counter cash payout through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP),” the President said.

“The program has a budget of P1,161,214,210 and total target beneficiaries of 178, 244,” he said.

Duterte said the program will cover valid certificate of public convenience (CPC)/Provisional Authority/Special Permit holders of fixed-route public transport modes such as PUJs, UV Express, taxis, buses, premium point-to-point buses, and minibuses.

Under the Bayanihan 2 law, the Department of Budget and Management has already released P9.5 billion to the DOTr for funding requirements for its interventions for the transportation industry.

Duterte said the DOTr and its attached agencies continued to implement other transportation-related interventions and measures amid the pandemic.

These measures include shipping and flight operations, yard utilization, inspection of vessels and medical screening by the Philippine Coast Guard, DOTr Free Ride for Health Workers, waver of toll fees for frontliners, transportation aid for returning overseas Filipino workers, issuance of special transport permits, EDSA busway project, and rationalization of city bus routes.

The DOTr has also given assistance to the free transportation of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, one stop shop for returning Filipinos overseas, and metropolitan bike lanes and bike sharing program.