AFTER Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Thursday, February 24, caused Brent oil to surge past $100 a barrel in the world market and Dubai crude to stay at record levels, the national government said it will provide fuel vouchers to the transport and other targeted sectors to help them cope with the high prices.

In a statement Thursday, February 24, 2022, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said the government is ready to provide “targeted relief assistance and support to address the impact of the oil price hike for affected sectors, especially public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, farmers and fisherfolk.”

Under the latest assessment of the Bangko Sentral ng Pillipinas (BSP) last Feb. 17, the Dubai crude oil price is projected to average at $83.3 per barrel this year. But the latest oil futures point to the figure going down to $79.0 by yearend, the DBCC said.

The government is preparing P2.5 billion for the Department of Transportation’s Fuel Subsidy Program that will provide fuel vouchers to over 377,000 qualified PUV drivers operating jeepneys, UV express, taxis, tricycles and other full-time ride-hailing and delivery services nationwide.

Separately, the Department of Agriculture has a P500 million budget to provide aid through “fuel discounts to farmers and fisherfolk who either individually own and operate agricultural and fishery machinery or operate through a farmers organization or cooperative. This will help mitigate the impact of elevated fuel prices on production and transport costs of farm and fishery products,” the DBCC said.

The DBCC is composed of the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority, Office of the President, and the BSP. (CTL)