Lawmaker proposes discounted fuel sales for public transport sector

Lawmaker proposes discounted fuel sales for public transport sector
File photo

A MANILA lawmaker has urged the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) enter into agreements with select and strategically located gasoline stations to sell discounted fuel to drivers in the public transport sector.

Rep. Joel R. Chua (Manila, 3rd district), in a statement Wednesday, April 17, 2024, suggested that the style of National Government's Kadiwa, which sells discounted basic goods, could be applied to fuel subsidies for motorcycle riders, motorcycle taxis, tricycles, and public utility jeepneys (PUJs).

Chua said the use of Pantawid Pasada debit may still continue or not if the DOE and DOTr succeed in finding partner gasoline stations.

According to Chua, the DOE and DOTR will be responsible for choosing which fuel companies and stations shall sell the discounted fuel at the designated pumps. In consultation with the Department of Finance and Department of Budget and Management, they would also determine the amount of the discount and the budget.

The lawmaker's proposal would expand the current coverage of targeted fuel subsidies for land transport, which are currently limited only to legitimate PUJs and tricycles who have Pantawid Pasada cards.

"I am suggesting the expansion because the current coverage is too limited and does not include other Filipinos who are in the poor and low-income segments of our population," Chua said.

The selling of the discounted fuel could also be done on a schedule, perhaps once a week or on Sundays, to avoid the high costs of daily sales, according to Chua.

The lawmaker said if his proposal is adopted by the DOE and DOTr, the expanded fuel subsidies could be pilot tested in Manila and a few other cities and towns before being rolled out to other areas.

Last Tuesday, April 16, oil companies implemented a minimal price hike.

Pilipinas Shell, Cleanfuel and Seaoil implemented a P.95 per liter price increase for diesel, P.40 per liter for gasoline and P.85 per liter on kerosene.

On Tuesday, April 9, these three oil companies implemented a P1.10 per liter price increase for gasoline, P1.55 per liter on diesel and P1.40 per liter on kerosene.

Last week, DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau Director Rino Abad said the continuous increase of oil prices may be expected in the coming months considering the higher demand from China, India and the United States, which were the top three oil consumers.

Abad said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has also implemented a production cut of 2.2 million barrels per day, affecting the global oil supply.

These oil price hikes in the past two weeks have prompted Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines to file a petition before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board asking for a P2 increase in the minimum fare of traditional jeepneys, raising it from P13 to P15. (KAL)


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