Gatchalian pushes for provision of P3K monthly subsidy for PUV drivers
MANILA, Philippines — Senator-elect Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing for the provision of a P3,000 monthly subsidy for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers for the next five months to help them cope with the high prices of fuel.
In a press briefing, Gatchalian said the “Pantawid Pasada” program of the government should be expanded, which could be “cheaper” than suspending the excise tax collection on fuel products.
“The immediate solution is to expand the Pantawid Pasada, ang proposal ko (my proposal is), P3,000 a month for the next 5 months. That will cost us about P4 billion, still cheaper than removing excise tax,” Gatchalian said in a press briefing.
“Excise tax is about P150 billion. And then we can also expand Libreng Sakay program ng gobyerno (free ride program from the government) so those who stop plying their routes or plying the roads can be contracted by the government to serve the riding public,” he added.
According to Gatchalian, the P4 billion budget needed for his proposal can be sourced from unobligated funds of various departments such as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
“There are ways to fund that, ‘yung ating proposal na P4 billion (my P4 billion program proposal). We can even do a supplemental budget or we can get from the unobligated amounts in the different departments—one which is the LTFRB and DOTr,” Gatchalian said.
“It’s not too big. I think makukuha naman natin yan sa mga unobligated (I think we can get it from the unobligated funds),” he added.
Gatchalian urged drivers and operators to gather the documents necessary to receive government aid.
“Kung yung drivers natin, kulang ng document, for example yung registration hindi sa pangalan nila, hindi sila mabibigyan ng ayuda so dapat maayos yung dokumento,” Gatchalian said.
(If our drivers’ documents are incomplete, for instance, the vehicle is not registered under their names, they might not receive assistance, so the documents need to be organized.)
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