LTFRB seeks to finish fuel subsidy distribution by Friday

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

September 13, 2023, 9:32 pm

<p>Nick Mar Jun Cataylo, a public utility vehicle driver in Davao City.<em> (PNA file photo)</em></p>

Nick Mar Jun Cataylo, a public utility vehicle driver in Davao City. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The distribution of fuel subsidy for operators and drivers of public utility vehicles (PUV) is expected to be completed by Friday, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

In a press briefing at the LTFRB head office in Quezon City on Wednesday, LTFRB chief Teofilo Guadiz III said both the funds and list of beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy program have already been sent to the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP).

“This morning, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already downloaded the money to Landbank. If they haven’t received it, it's probably because the bank is taking a little time to process everything because there are about 1.36 million beneficiaries,” Guadiz said.

He said the information of around 50,000 beneficiaries has been confirmed by the LTFRB and was sent to Landbank for crediting.

“We expect to finish this, kung ngayon ay Wednesday, until Friday ho siguro maku-kumpleto namin yung LTFRB side (if it’s Wednesday today, probably by Friday we’ll be complete, at least for the LTFRB’s side),” he said.

He said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) are expected to complete the distribution of fuel subsidy to delivery service beneficiaries within the same time frame.

“Hindi lang ho namin matugunan yung sa Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), mga tricycles. Depende po yun sa arrangement of DILG at saka ng local government unit (LGU) with the Landbank (We can’t answer for the DILG, for tricycles. It would depend on the arrangement between the DILG, LGUs, and Landbank),” he said.

He noted that the distribution of the fuel subsidy for PUV operators and drivers are expected to be relatively easy for the LTFRB since a list of qualified beneficiaries has already been made since the first fuel subsidy program during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Ina-update lang ho namin yan every six months. So yan pong listahan na yan, meron kaakibat na mga accounts sa Landbank (We just have to update that every six months. Those in the list already have Landbank accounts),” he said.

During the briefing, LTFRB Executive Director Robert Peig said its project management team for the fuel subsidy program initially verified 25,000 beneficiaries plus an additional 22,000 beneficiaries within the first day of the fuel subsidy distribution.

“Kanina may tawag kami sa manager ng Landbank na sa dami ng accounts na kanilang icre-credit, pipilitin po nila yung pinaka-mabilis na icre-credit (Earlier I had a call with a Landbank manager due to the large number of accounts that need to be credited, and they will try their best to finish crediting as soon as possible),” Peig said.

A total of 1.36 million beneficiaries are expected to benefit from the PHP3-billion fuel subsidy program.

Of the total, there are around 280,000 PUVs, 930,000 tricycles and 150,000 delivery service units.

According to the LTFRB, drivers and operators of qualified modern public utility jeepneys (PUJ) and UV Express units will receive PHP10,000 while operators of other PUVs will receive PHP6,500. (PNA)