(PNA file photo) 

MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday urged city and municipal mayors to set up a complaint desk or hotline to address concerns from the beneficiaries of fuel subsidy to ease the burden of public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers who are being battered by the constant oil price hikes.

Año directed all city and municipal local chief executives (LCEs) nationwide to submit a validated list of qualified tricycle drivers to the DILG regional offices on or before April 26 in preparation for another round of fuel subsidy under the Pantawid Pasada Program spearheaded by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB)

"In as much as we want to assist everyone, we must abide by the set parameters kaya hinihiling namin ang pangunguna ng mga LGU (local government unit) at kooperasyon ng ating mga tricycle drivers upang mabilis na maibaba ang fuel subsidy na ito sa kanila (we ask the LGUs and the cooperation of our tricycle drivers in order to speed up the fuel subsidy for them)," Año said in a statement.

Under the Fuel Subsidy Program or Pantawid Pasada Program, which will be funded through General Appropriations Act of 2022, fuel assistance amounting to PHP6,500 will be directly provided not only to affected jeepney drivers but also to qualified drivers of UV express, minibuses, buses, shuttle services, taxis, tricycles, and other full-time ride-hailing (e.g., transport network vehicle service or TNVS and motorcycle taxis), and delivery services nationwide.

Through DILG Memorandum Circular 2022-047, Año said LGUs must produce a validated list of tricycle drivers; tricycle franchisees; addresses; electronic wallet accounts; and number of operating tricycles and other details within their respective jurisdictions.

He said the distribution of fuel subsidy shall be the responsibility of the DOTr-LTFRB and shall be disseminated through the e-wallet account submitted by the beneficiaries.

The said details, he said, must be prepared and certified correct by the Head of the Tricycle Franchising Board and the head of the local Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA).

"Ito din ay kailangang certified ng (It should be certified by the) city or municipal mayors and vice mayors. This is to ensure that the list we will forward to the DOTr-LTFRB is correct and legitimate," said Año.

LGUs must likewise transmit the validated list of beneficiaries to the DILG Regional Office which will serve as a reference document in the distribution of the fuel subsidy to the tricycle drivers; ensure that the fuel subsidy will be utilized for fuel purchases and payments only; and, coordinate with the concerned beneficiary in case of inconsistencies and insufficiencies in details or information.

Año said that LCEs are expected to come up with the list to expedite the process of aiding tricycle drivers "whose meager income is further cut by the recent oil price hikes."

He added that the said list, once validated, shall be the basis of the DOTr-LTFRB in granting the fuel subsidy.

"I urge all city and municipal LCEs to produce a validated list of qualified tricycle drivers who will receive the Pantawid Pasada Program fuel subsidy. Kailangan ito ng ating mga kababayang tricycle drivers who have been burdened by the recent unprecedented oil price hikes. Sana po ay paspasan po natin ang pag-aasikaso ng listahang ito para kahit papaano ay maibsan ang pasanin ng ating mga drayber (This is needed by our fellow tricycle drivers who have been burdened by the recent unprecedented oil price hikes. I hope we will speed up the list to somehow alleviate the burden of our drivers.)," he said. (PNA)