DOTr agrees to implement add’l 10% fare cut

MANILA The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has agreed to implement the additional 10-percent fare discount in public utility vehicles as provided in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, Senator Grace Poe said on Monday.

In a radio interview, Poe said the DOTr committed during budget interpellations to implement the social-mitigating measure to ease the impact of the tax reform law, especially for the poor.

Under Section 82 of the TRAIN law, minimum-wage earners and the poorest 50 percent of the population are qualified for fare discounts in all public utility vehicles in the amount equivalent to 10 percent of the authorized fare.

"Siniguro natin sa ating interpelasyon ng budget na 'yung ipinangako mula doon sa TRAIN law na pagtulong ng gobyerno (We made sure during budget interpellations that the government financial assistance promised under the TRAIN law [would be delivered])," Poe said.

"Halimbawa, maliban pa sa mga nakukuhang discount ng mga student, mga minimum wage earner at mga senior citizen, mayroon pa dapat na nakapatong doon na 10 percent. So, kung 20 percent na sila noon, dapat 30 percent na; pumayag naman, yan ay i-implementa ngDOTr (For example, apart from the normal fare discounts for students, minimum wage earners and senior citizens, there should be an additional 10 percent discount. So if they already have a 20 percent discount before, then it should be 30 percent by now. The DOTr agreed to implement this)," she added.

She, however, said only half out of the 171,836 jeepney driver-beneficiaries were able to receive fuel subsidy cards, which is another social-mitigating measure under the TRAIN law.

Around PHP977 million is appropriated for the Pantawid Pasada program in 2018.

Under Section 82 of the TRAIN law, jeepney franchise holders are entitled to fuel vouchers.

"Ang success rate nila, kung mayroon man silang nabigyan, parang 47 percent lamang so may kalahati pa talagang hind pa nakakatanggap(Their success rate for distribution is only around 47 percent, so more than half still have not received [fuel vouchers])," Poe said.

"Marami namang isyu kasi diyan. 'Yung iba doon may mga jeep na hindi naman 'yung mismong operator ang nagmamaneho. Marami sa kanila either wala na dito sa bansang ito o ibinenta na nila pero ang papel ay hindi pa naayos (There are a lot of issues here. In some cases, those who drive the jeepneys are not the operators themselves. Most franchise holders are either out of the country, or the sale of franchise is not properly documented)," she added.

The fuel subsidy is expected to increase to PHP20,514 or PHP1,709 per month for every beneficiary this year, compared with the PHP5,000 subsidy last year. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency