MANILA, Philippines — The “Libreng Sakay” program in Edsa may no longer be revived this 2023 amid inadequate funds, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), which is eyeing to instead offer discounted fares to commuters.
LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III explained that in order for them to include all public transportation considering the limited budget, discounts will be given as an alternative.
The Department of Budget and Management allocated a total of P1.28 billion to the LTFRB for the supposedly free-ride program.
“Para mapagkasya po itong pondo ng gobyerno, at para maisama po lahat ng transportasyon, magbibigay po sila ng discount, discounts to be given to those who will be availing of this ‘Libreng Sakay’,” said LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III.
(To fit the budget given by the government and to include all forms of transportation, they will be giving discounts, discounts to be given to those who will be availing of this “Libreng Sakay.”)
According to Guadiz, should the fund be allotted completely to the Edsa Bus Carousel, the money would only cover free rides of up to four months.
“Kasi po ‘pag ang ginawa namin is libreng sakay like what we did last December, ‘yung P1.3 billion is hanggang apat na buwan lamang po iyon,” Guadiz said.
(Because if we did the free ride like what we did last December, that P1.3 billion will only last up to four months.)
He added that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is also looking to include other modes of public transportation, not just buses, for the allocation.
“For now, we’re waiting instructions from the DOTr how to move about with the money. The intention of the leadership is to stretch the money for as long as we can and to include jeepneys, and shuttle rides. Hindi lang po buses. So malamang ang gagawin po dito is we will just be giving discounts,” said Guadiz.
(For now, we’re waiting for instructions from the DOTr on how to move about with the money. The intention of the leadership is to stretch the money for as long as we can and to include jeepneys, and shuttle rides. Not just buses. So most likely what we will do here is we will just be giving discounts.)