Libreng Sakay in Central Visayas to continue – Tugade
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Libreng Sakay program in Central Visayas would continue as long as funds would be there, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
Tugade on Thursday, October 28 clarified reports about the program and assured that the Libreng Sakay in the region would not halt this Saturday, October 30.
“Yung Libreng Sakay po, tuloy-tuloy po yan hanggang may pondo. Ibig sabihin hanggang may pondong tumutulong mula sa kaban nang bayan, yung Libreng Sakay ay tuloy-tuloy,” Tugade said in a press conference on Thursday, October 28.
(The Libreng Sakay, will continue while there are still funds. What this means is if there are still funds that will help from the coffers of the country, then the Libreng Sakay will continue.)
Tugade also said the DOTr had not made any decision to stop the initiative whose second phase began last September 16.
While claiming he had no idea how reports that the Libreng Sakay in Central Visayas would discontinue by the end of this month, Tugade believed it stemmed from initial calculations made by transportation officials.
He added that concerned government agencies projected that the funds for the Libreng Sakay program would be depleted by October 30.
“It was not meant to be a decision. It was not meant to be shared with the public,” said Tugade.
The Transportation Secretary also assured the public that the free ride scheme would stay for as long as there would be funds available.
“As far as I am concerned, Libreng Sakay will continue as long as there are funds to sustain and support. And I tell you, as we speak, there is the fund,” Tugade pointed out.
To recall, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) recently reported that the P356 million allocated for the region’s Libreng Sakay had already been used up.
As a result, they projected that it might stop by October 30 unless it would be injected with fresh funds.
Data released by LTFRB-7 show that a total of 484 units were deployed in the region to cater to the transportation needs of health care workers (HCWs) and authorized persons outside residence (APORs). LTFRB-7 targeted a total of 498 participants during the second round of the program’s implementation.
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