Provision of cash assistance for PUV drivers possible — DOE

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 12) — Drivers of public utility vehicles could possibly receive cash assistance if the proposed fare hike will not be granted or if it is too low, the Department of Energy (DOE) said on Tuesday.

DOE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau director Rino Abad said they met with officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and they are waiting for the agency's decision on the proposed fare hike.

"Agaran din pong nagkaroon ng utos from Sec. Cusi na aralin ‘yung posibleng kapalit kung walang fare hike o insufficient ‘yung magiging fare hike then kailangan suportahan natin ng cash assistance," he said in a media briefing.

[Translation: There is an order from Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to study what can be done in case there is no fare hike or if it's insufficient, then we should support it with cash assistance.]

Abad added the LTFRB would determine how much would be given to drivers.

LTFRB executive director Joel Bolano said the agency is also considering cash or fuel subsidy.

"Iyon po ay pag-uusapan ng mabuti at ipapaabot sa ating department," he said.

[Translation: This is being thoroughly discussed and will be relayed to the department.]

Last week, transport groups said they were seeking a fare increase due to higher fuel costs and reduced number of passengers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pasang Masda national vice president Jojo Martin told CNN Philippines they would ask for a fare hike of ₱2 to ₱3. But Bolano said based on LTFRB’s computation and on year-on-year increases, the hike could be lower.

"Kung pagbabasehan ‘yung formula na ginagamit...batay sa mga increases ng petrolyo, based dun sa aming computation, kung babalikan yung year-on-year na increase...hindi lalampas sa ₱1.26 more or less," he said.

[Translation: If we base it on the formula we are using...and on petroleum increase, based on our computation, if we go back on the year-on-year increase...it will not be over P1.26 more or less.]

Bolano added they are waiting for the PUV drivers’ petition for fare adjustment.

"Pag-aaralan po ng ating board...Kasi kailangan balansehin at dahil nasa pandemic pa tayo, naintindihan po ‘yung mataas na fuel prices pero tinitignan rin ‘yung capacity ng pasahero at commuters sa ganitong sitwasyon," he said.

[Translation: Our board will study it...We have to balance everything. We understand the cost of fuel is high, but we also have to consider the capacity of passengers and commuters in this situation.]