More than 100,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) operators who have been heavily affected by the health crisis are set to receive direct cash subsidies to be distributed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) this week.
LTFRB National Capital Region Director Zona Tamayo said in a virtual briefing that select PUV operators in different regions across the country will benefit from the government’s subsidy program, which aims to ease the impact of the pandemic in the transportation sector.
Tamayo said some P1.16 billion funding has been allotted under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the “Bayanihan 2” to implement the program and assist critically-impacted road-based stakeholders.
According to the LTFRB, at least 178,000 PUVs were included in the program, which seeks to provide a P6,500 direct cash subsidy to each PUV operators.
These include 120,000 jeepneys, 21,998 buses, 24,374 UV Express units, 10,188 Filcabs, 1,259 mini buses, and 426 point-to-point shuttles, based on the data provided by the LTFRB.
Under the law, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), through the LTFRB, will oversee the distribution of funds that can be used by beneficiaries as debt payments; for fuel and other operational and maintenance expenses; for purchase of health supplies to avoid contracting COVID-19; or for other needs to continue their day-to-day operations.
The LTFRB said the cash subsidy for PUV operators will be deposited in their Landbank Pantawid Pasada Program Cash Cards or into their existing Landbank or any bank accounts through PESONet and INSTAPay.
Earlier this month, the LTFRB also officially launched its service contracting program, which is another subsidy program for PUV drivers displaced by the pandemic.
Under this program, the government will be providing the payouts to drivers based on their performance, which would also help raise the level of service, reliability, and efficiency of the country’s public transport system.