12k PUJ franchise units qualify for fuel subsidy – Cuizon

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |August 10,2018 - 09:45 PM

More than 12, 000 Public Utility (PUJ) franchise units in Central Visayas are qualified to receive the government’s Pantawid Pasada fuel subsidy, said Ahmed Cuizon, the outgoing director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7).

Cuizon said he already forward his list of Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJ) franchise units to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Central Office early this month.

His list included 11,000 PUJ franchise units from Cebu, Bohol – 903, Negros Oriental – 918 and Siquijor – 37.

Each of the cash card recipients will receive a P5,000 fuel subsidy this year and as much as P20, 000 in 2019.

Cash card release was first scheduled in July, but this was postponed after transport officials changed the mode of distribution of the fuel subsidy from P833 per month to a P5,000 lump sum for the entire year.

Release of the fuel subsidy is under DOTr’s Pantawid Pasada Program which is aimed at helping the transport sector cushion the soaring prices of petroleum products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law.

Cuizon said it is up to DOTr to scheduled the release of the cash cards.

“Each cash card has a plate number printed on it. Every time that the cash card will be used to refuel the PUJ, the gas station attendant has to check if the plate number of the PUJ and the one on the cash card match,” Cuizon said.

To prevent misunderstanding, Cuizon is asking PUJ operators and franchise owners to share the fuel subsidy with their respective drivers even if Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Pantawid Pasada Program does not say so.

“That is the constraint in the program. We can only appeal to them (operators) to share the subsidy to the drivers because there is no provision penalizing them if they don’t,” Cuizon said.

“I’m appealing to the operators that they should share the cash cards with the drivers because the drivers are the ones who really need that badly amid the successive fuel price hikes,” he added.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark De Leon said in an earlier interview that they decided to give the cash cards to the operators since they do not have direct contact with the drivers.

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