Gatchalian calls out DILG, LGUs over delays of tricycle drivers’ Pantawid Pasada

Published July 1, 2022, 12:48 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday, July 1 criticized the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and local government units (LGUs) over the long delay in the distribution of fuel subsidy to tricycle drivers which stemmed from the inaccuracy of beneficiaries’ names submitted to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“Hanggang ngayon ay wala pang tricycle driver na nakakuha ng kanilang ayuda. Walang saysay ang pamamahagi ng ayuda kung matagal itong naaantala habang tuloy-tuloy na tumataas ang presyo ng krudo (Until now, no tricycle driver has received their promised financial aid. It’s useless to distribute cash aid if it would take them longer to receive it while the price of fuel continues to rise),” Gatchalian said.

“Malaking bagay ang programang Pantawid Pasada para sa kanila na, tulad din ng ibang PUV drivers ay, umaasa sa arawang pamamasada at apektado rin ng nagtataasang presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin (The Pantawid Pasada program is a huge deal for them, like the public utility drivers, they are relying on their everyday earnings and they are also heavily affected by the increasing prices of basic goods),” he pointed out.

The senator said a random check done by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) showed that some of the names in the list of targeted beneficiaries submitted by the DILG and LGUs did not match with the names of e-wallet account holders.

This has prompted the LTFRB to ask the department to rectify the list.

The distribution of the first tranche of fuel subsidy for the tricycle drivers, originally intended to be distributed last May, was also delayed due to the fact the DILG submitted its final list only during the second week of June.

Under the DILG Memorandum Circular 2022-047, LGUs are directed to submit a validated list of tricycle drivers, tricycle franchisees, addresses, electronic wallet accounts and number of operating tricycles and other details within their respective jurisdictions.

The head of the Tricycle Franchising Board and the head of the local Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) are tasked to prepare the details and be certified as well by the city or municipal mayors and vice mayors.

This will ensure that the list forwarded to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and LTFRB is correct and legitimate.

Unlike the other beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pasada program where the eligible public utility driver-beneficiaries received their subsidies through their existing cash cards, Landbank is supposed to remit the subsidies of non-cardholders like tricycle drivers through e-wallets.

To fix the situation, the lawmaker said he was told that the LTFRB and Landbank will issue supplemental guidelines to allow the beneficiaries to claim their Pantawid Pasada or fuel subsidy “over the counter” in any Landbank branches nationwide.

Beneficiaries would only need to present a valid driver’s license to claim their subsidy.

“Hopefully, the DILG and LGUs will be able to finalize this week the list to begin the process of distributing the fuel subsidy of P1,000 each to all 617,806 tricycle driver-beneficiaries all over the country,” Gatchalian said.