Still no fuel subsidy for thousands of jeepney operators in North Mindanao
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – About half of the operators of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) in the region have yet to receive the fuel subsidy that the national government had allotted for them last year to cushion the impact of the rising fuel prices, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) said Wednesday.
LTFRB-10 regional director Aminoden Guro said they were making efforts to have the fuel subsidy cards given to all the operators as soon as possible.
The agency partnered with Land Bank of the Philippines for the distribution of the cards to the operators.
In Northern Mindanao, half of more than 7,000 PUJ unit operators have yet to avail of the “Pantawid Pasada,” the nationwide program launched by the Department of Transportation in August 2018 to help jeepney drivers and operators cope with the rising cost of fuel.
The National Confederation of Transport Union (NCTU), which has around 5,000 members in northern Mindanao, raised their concern over the delay in the distribution of the fuel subsidy cards in a meeting with LTFRB officials on Tuesday.
Joel Gabatan, NCTU regional coordinator, said some of the NCTU members had yet to receive their cards.
He also asked the LTFRB to look into the policy of requiring the former owners of sold PUJ units to sign a special power of attorney (SPA) to allow the new owners of the units to avail of the fuel subsidy.
He said this policy had put new PUJ owners at a disadvantage since they could not avail of the fuel subsidy card without the SPA from the original owners.
Gabatan proposed that instead of the SPA, the LTFRB should require PUJ owners to produce the deed of sale of the vehicle to avail of the fuel subsidy.
“The deed of sale is proof enough that the PUJ has already been sold to the new owner,” he said.
Guro said his office would consider Gabatan’s suggestion as it would also help them speed up the release of the fuel subsidy cards.
“That proposal can achievable, provided the vendor and the vendee have their identification documents attached on the document together with their verified signatures,” Guro said.
The LTFRB regional director said the identification and signatures of the concerned persons are important in the release by Land Bank of the card.
Each card, which will be specific only to a particular jeepney unit, contains P5,000 worth of fuel, which can be used only by PUJ operators and drivers.
Also printed on the card is the name of franchise holder, plate number of PUJ, the region where the franchise was issued, and card number.
Guro said that for 2019, the government would allocate P25,000 fuel subsidy for every PUJ unit, but there was no final agreement yet between the transportation department and the Land Bank for the release of the second wave of the Pantawid Pasada program. (Editor: Leti Boniol)
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