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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Drivers say P10K fuel subsidy lacking with prices rising

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The P6,500 to P10,000 one-time fuel subsidy is not enough amid increasing pump prices, the transport group Pagkakaisa ng Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) said Saturday.

This was as Unioil Petroleum Philippines forecasted a higher oil price hike on Tuesday of P0.40 to P0.60 per liter for diesel and P0.10 to P0.30 per liter for gasoline.

Unioil said in its advisory the higher fuel prices will be reflected starting Sept. 12 to Sept. 18 and asked consumers to “load up accordingly.” On Friday, the oil firms estimated diesel prices to go up by of P0.10 to P0.20 per liter and gasoline and kerosene to have minimal raises but warned it was still subject to adjustments based on the Friday trading.

Rising pump prices have led to an income loss of P100 per day fordrivers, PISTON President Mody Floranda said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“This only quenches our drivers’ thirst because at P6,500, it’s only worth four days of fuel for our drivers and operators, assuming they load about 30 liters a day,” he told radio dzBB.

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“If we look at it over 25 days, our drivers directly lose aroundP3,000 in earnings (from higher fuel prices). At first glance, the fuel subsidy may be helpful, but overall, it doesn’t count for much owing to the continuing fuel price increases,” Floranda added.

Floranda believes it would be better if the government considered scrapping the Oil Deregulation Law or reviewing its provisions. He also urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to issue an executive order to temporarily suspend the high tax on petroleum products.

On Friday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the release of P3 billion worth of funds to implement the Fuel Subsidy Program for transportation workers affected by rising pump prices.

The DBM said Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman approved the release of funding requirements for fuel subsidies for approximately 1.36 million drivers and operators affected by the series of fuel price hikes.

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