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Saturday, December 2, 2023

DOTr to hasten P3b fuel subsidy release as pump prices rise again

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it will hasten the distribution of fuel vouchers to public utility vehicle operators and drivers after the release of the funds for the P3 billion subsidy program was approved on Friday.

This is as oil firms are expected to implement a minimal price increase next week amounting to P0.10 to P0.20 per liter to reflect the movement of prices in the world oil market.

Department of Energy director for the oil industry management bureau Rodela Romero said crude oil prices surged on worries about a potential supply shortage during peak winter demand after Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their voluntary supply cuts to the end of the year.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, for his part, ordered the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to immediately distribute the fuel assistance to PUV drivers once the funds have been downloaded to the agency.

“Now that the funds have been approved by the DBM, we will make sure that our PUV drivers get immediate assistance,” Bautista said.

A total of 1.36 million beneficiaries will receive fuel assistance, LTFRB data showed.

The transport regulator will distribute P10,000 to Modern Public Utility Jeepney (MPUJ) and Modern UV Express (MUVE) operators, while operators of other modes of transport will receive P6,500.

Tricycle and delivery riders, on the other hand, are set to receive P1,000 and P1,200 assistance, respectively.

At least 280,000 drivers will receive the one-time cash grant from the agency, while 930,000 tricycle driver/operators and an estimated 150,000 delivery service riders will receive the assistance from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), respectively.

On September 5, 2023, oil companies implemented an increase of P0.50 per liter for gasoline, P1.20 per liter for diesel and P1.10 per liter for kerosene.

These price adjustments resulted in a year-to-date net increase of P15.30 per liter for gasoline, P10.70 per liter diesel and P7.74 per liter for kerosene.

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