A GROUP has asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to distribute fuel subsidies to farmers and fishermen as soon as possible.

This came following forecasts that oil prices will continue to spike in the coming months and maybe until next year.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), an organization of farmers, said the DA should fast-track the granting of fuel subsidy to the marginalized farmers and fishers.

DA Secretary William Dar earlier said that the agency is ready to distribute fuel subsidies but guidelines set by the Department of Energy and Department of Budget and Management state that a trigger mechanism of

$80 per barrel should warrant the release of the said subsidies.

The latest world crude price surged to $94 per barrel this week due to rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Domestic year-to-date adjustments of oil prices stood at a net increase of P7.95 per liter for gasoline, P10.20 per liter for diesel, and P9.10 per liter for kerosene, the KMP stated.

"We demand the DA, DOE, DBM, and DOTR to ease the existing guidelines for the release of fuel subsidy for marginalized sectors. Grant fuel subsidies ASAP for local farmers and fishers who cannot afford the exorbitant oil prices," according to KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.

"DA must find ways to help farmers and fishers and provide them with immediate production subsidies. Kapag gusto may paraan. Kung ayaw laging mayroong dahilan," Ramos added.

KMP made suggestions on how DA can provide urgent fuel and production subsidies for farmers.

"DA can make use of the following fund at its disposition -- from the unutilized excess tariffs collected from 2019 to 2020 from the Rice Liberalization Law amounting to P7.6 billion, from the agency's unspent funds from its 2021 budget and from the 500-billion allocation for fuel subsidy for 2022," the group stated.

KMP also asserts its earlier stance for the suspension of the excise tax and VAT collection on fuel products to significantly lower the pump prices.

Suspension of such taxes will slash P16 per liter on gasoline and P10 per liter on diesel, the group said.