Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday, Oct. 14 urged the government to reactivate the government’s fuel subsidy program, Pantawid Pasada Program, to provide relief to the public transport sector that would be affected by the recent oil price increases.
Gatchalian said it is important to shield the transport sector and the riding, consuming public from the impact of high fuel prices especially at this time of a COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang panawagan ko sa ating pamahalaan ay protektahan natin ang ating mga tsuper at pasahero (I call on our government to protect our drivers and commuters),” Gatchalian said.
“Dito papasok ‘yung programa na Pantawid Pasada kung saan pinopondohan muna ng gobyerno para ma-absorb ‘yung pagtaas ng presyo ng petrolyo (This is where the Pantawid Pasada program comes in, where the government can subsidize to cushion the oil price increases),” the reelectionist senator said.
Likewise, Gatchalian called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to monitor the compliance of oil companies on their inventory requirements to ensure adequate supply and help mitigate further price increases in the coming months.
The senator noted key players, particularly Chevront Philippines Inc., PTT Philippines, Seaoil Philippines, PetroGazz, Unioil Petroleum Philippines, and Cleanfuel have imposed as much as P1.50- per liter for diesel, P1.45 per liter for kerosene, and P1.30 per liter for gasoline effective Tuesday, Oct.12.
The Senate Energy Committee chair pointed out there is a potential average increase of P1,422.50 in the monthly expense of jeepneys for gasoline and a potential average increase of P598.36 for diesel.
The senator said that to cover for the 3-month subsidy of the estimated 178,244 valid franchise holders of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) nationwide, the government would have to shell out at least P914.160-million.
“Itong sitwasyon natin ay maaari pang lumala dahil bukod sa winter season na, maraming ekonomiya na sa buong mundo ang unti-unting nagbubukas at dumadami na rin ang gumagamit ng petrolyo (The situation could worsen, because aside from winter season, more and more economies in other countries are slowly reopening and many are now using petroleum),” the lawmaker noted.
“Inaasahan nating tuloy-tuloy pa ang pagtaas ng presyo ng langis sa pandaigdigang merkado hanggang sa katapusan ng taon (So we expect the price of oil to continually increase in the world market until the end of the year),” Gatchalian said.