DOTr to delist PUJ operators, drivers misusing fuel voucher

MANILA Public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators and drivers who would misuse the Pantawid Pasada fuel voucher cards will be removed from the list of beneficiaries of the subsidy program, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday.

The Pantawid Pasada cards must only be used for fuel purchases. We remind everyone for next year this will be at around PHP20,000. If they will use the card for other purposes this year, they will not be receiving subsidies anymore, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon said in an interview with reporters, during the launch of the Pantawid Pasada caravan held at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila Thursday.

We will delist them. If they are delisted, they will not be given subsidies, he added.

Under the program, beneficiaries must sign a deed of undertaking that the voucher cards will only be used for purchases of petroleum products at gasoline stations.

The Pantawid Pasada Program provides a lump sum subsidy of PHP5,000 to about 179,000 jeepney operators and drivers this year based on a master list provided by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The DOTr is eyeing to provide a subsidy of about PHP2,000 next year, de Leon said.

Each Pantawid Pasada card contains the complete name of the franchise holder, plate number of the PUJ, region where the franchise was registered,and card number.

Meanwhile, jeepney operators and drivers, who availed of the fuel voucher card, said the subsidy will supplement their daily income and save on fuel costs.

Sabi dito sa card: PHP5,000 ang laman. Maghuhulog ako ng PHP600 to PHP700 a day hanggang maubos ko siya. Sa normal na kita, parang bonus na lamang eto. Kasi yung biyahe ko ngayon mag-diesel ako hindi na po ako magbabayad sa gasolinahan yung pinaka-diesel na 600 peperahin ko na (The card contains PHP5,000. I will be using this for my fuel purchases which cost PHP600 to PHP700 a day. This is a bonus on my daily income. If I drive today, I will not be paying PHP600 anymore on diesel at the fuel station), jeepney driver-operator Jimmy Baldadora, who drives a PUJ traversing the Alabang-Baclaran route for 20 years, said.

Sana mas marami mas maganda para sa mga kasama ko. Magkaroon ng lahat po yun lang ang sa akin (I hope more jeepney operators and drivers would benefit from this), he added.

The LTFRB will be holding the caravan for two days from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

The Board expects about 2,000 beneficiaries to attend the two-day event.

The DOTr is eyeing to set up satellite offices in parts of Metro Manila to facilitate the distribution of the Pantawid Pasada cards.

The government had launched the distribution of the Pantawid Pasada cards last July 17.

A budget of PHP977 million was allocated to the fuel subsidy program for its implementation this year.

The Pantawid Pasada aims to mitigate the impact of the recent series of oil price increases and higher excise taxes due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency