The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has started distributing some P1 billion worth of fuel subsidies to about 136,000 public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers in the country as part of the government’s assistance program to the transport sector amid the continuous hike in pump prices.
The distribution was rolled out on Wednesday, Nov. 24, the Pantawid Pasada Fuel Program to compensate PUJ drivers for the skyrocketing fuel prices and financial woes triggered by the pandemic.
LTFRB National Capital Region Director Zona Tamayo said program beneficiaries will each receive a one-time Pantawid Fuel Cash Card containing P7,200 as fuel subsidy for this year.
“For this year’s fuel subsidy, the DBCC (Development Budget Coordination Committee) has allotted P1 billion for qualified beneficiaries or those PUJ franchise grantees nationwide,” Tamayo told reporters in a virtual briefing on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
“With the P1 billion budget, each of the 136,000 beneficiaries will be receiving P7,200 per unit,” she added.
Meanwhile, LTFRB Executive Director Tina Cassion reminded recipients that the cash assistance for PUJs may only be used for fuel purchases in participating petroleum retail outlets or gas stations as the amount cannot be withdrawn and utilized for other purposes.
Cassion warned that any violation in the use of the card, such as purchasing other products aside from fuel, will automatically disqualify the card owner from the program.
The fuel cards processed by the Land Bank of the Philippines will indicate the complete name of the franchise holder, plate number of PUJ, region where the franchise was registered, and the card number to avoid misuse.
According to Tamayo, about 73,000 beneficiaries have already received the amount in their cards, while Landbank has already credited a total of P562 million out of the P1 billion total budget for the program.
For those who are yet to receive their cards, Tamayo advised them to coordinate with their respective LTFRB regional offices for their schedule of claiming their cards.
The Pantawid Pasada Program was initially implemented in 2018 and 2019 in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.