Funding secured for household fuel subsidy–Salceda

Published April 7, 2022, 7:51 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means is projecting the release of the P500 household fuel subsidy soon or before the May 9 polls.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda (File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“I am quite positive that we will start distributing those subsidies before the elections,” Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda said in a statement Thursday, April 7.

This, as the Bicolano expressed belief that the household fuel subsidy already has a source of funding.

“The low-income household subsidy is definitely pushing through. I think the Executive has already found some funding sources in the form of unused cash balances. You will have to check with them for the exact items used, but if I am not mistaken, it will be from past budgets,” he said.

It can be recalled that the country’s economic managers initially suggested a monthly subsidy of P200, which members of the House of Representatives assailed. The Chief Executive later bumped up the amount to P500.

“President Duterte also followed up with an instruction to increase the monthly subsidy from P200 to P500,” Salceda bared. He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be the agency primarily responsible for the distribution of the assistance.

‘”As you know, I explicitly requested for an exemption of all DSWD aid transactions from the Comelec (Commission on Elections) election spending ban. So, the subsidies will be covered,” he noted.

The household fuel subsidy is meant to cushion the impact of the current fuel price crisis on poor Filipinos.

A similar measure, but one with a different target, is the Pantawid Pasada or fuel subsidy for the public utility vehicle (PUV) sector.

“As for the Pantawid programs, that has to push through, definitely. The purpose of the Pantawid Pasada is not to provide household relief, as in the case of the household subsidy, but to relieve the pressure off PUVs, so that they do not raise fares. So, it’s more of a prevention of second-round effects on prices.

“That said, we will continue to follow up with implementing agencies when there are delays in the implementation,” Salceda said.