Palace: P3-B budget allocated for fuel subsidy this year

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MANILA – Malacañang stated on Tuesday that the government has allocated at least PHP3 billion budget under the General Appropriations Act of 2022 for fuel subsidy.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the acting presidential spokesperson, issued this statement after oil firms increased prices significantly for the seventh consecutive week due to supply constraints in the global market.

“Ang budget law natin (Our budget law) for 2022 which is the General Appropriations Act of 2022, mayroon pong mga nakalaan diyan na para sa mga (it has allotted budget for) fuel subsidy,” Nograles said in a virtual Palace briefing.

He stated that under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) budget, a total of PHP2.5 billion is appropriated for financial assistance and fuel vouchers to qualified public utility vehicles, taxis, tricycles, and full-time ride-hailing delivery service drivers who are affected by the oil price hikes.

According to Nograles, the program will be implemented subject to the guidelines released by the DOTr, Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and “when the average Dubai crude oil price based on Mean of Platts Singapore or MOPS for three months reaches or exceeds USD80 per barrel.”

He added that another PHP500 million pesos has been allotted under the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide fuel discounts to affected farmers and fishermen.

He said the fuel discount will be given “provided that the farmer or fisherfolk beneficiary owns and operates an agricultural and fishery machinery individually or through a farmer organization, cooperative or association; provided further that in case of fisherfolk, their fishing vessels are duly registered in the Integrated Boat Registry System or DA-BFAR’s BOATR.”

Farmers or their organizations, he said, must give proof that they own the farm machinery.

“So may conditions set before ma-trigger itong tinatawag na (So we have set conditions that would trigger this) fuel subsidy,” he said. “So apart from that, bago tumama po iyan ay patuloy naman po na pinag-uusapan ang iba pang mga mekanismo at tulong na maaari nating ibigay sa mga lubos na maaapektuhan (before that oil price hikes, we have been discussing mechanisms and assistance that we can give to those who will severely be affected).”

The government has also been addressing the impact of oil price hikes, specifically on the prices of basic commodities, Nograles said.

“Iyong DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] po ay nag-update na po ng kanilang mga suggested retail price para sa mga basic necessities and prime commodities po natin (The DTI has updated its suggested retail price for the basic necessities and prime commodities),” he said.

In separate advisories, Caltex, Cleanfuel, Petro Gazz, PTT Philippines, Seaoil, and Shell said they will increase diesel prices by PHP1.05 per liter and gasoline by PHP1.20 per liter on Tuesday.

Caltex, Seaoil, and Shell will increase kerosene prices by PHP0.65 per liter as well.

Local gasoline prices have already climbed by PHP6.75 per liter since last week’s price adjustments, while diesel prices have increased by PHP9.15 per liter and PHP8.45 per liter for kerosene.

The S&P Global Platts indicated that oil prices are approaching USD100 per barrel-mark amid supply constraints due to geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine, while demand in Asia remains stable as economies recover from the pandemic.

The Russia-Ukraine border is a critical route for oil and gas trade as this is the transit hub for the commodities between Russia and the European Union.

Geopolitical tension along the border is projected to impede supply movement in a global market that is already experiencing supply constraints.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.