Marcos wants to include tricycle drivers in fuel subsidy program

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MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. declared plans on Tuesday to expand the coverage of the government’s fuel subsidy program to include tricycle drivers.

Marcos said in his first press conference that tricycle drivers have been left out of the program that aids the transport sector amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic and the continuous oil price hikes.

“We just discussed that we are going to try not only to continue the fuel subsidy for the transport sector but to expand it to include the tricycles which up to now, have not been included,” he said.

The funding for this proposed expanded fuel subsidy program, according to Marcos, was discussed during his first Cabinet meeting earlier that day.

He did not go into detail, but guaranteed that there was still enough funds in the current 2022 budget to get through this year.

“We talked about the funding, where it can come from, and how we are going to manage the funding for the additional fuel subsidies. We have enough budget I think to last for most of this year and a little bit beyond but we have to find that money if we’re going to continue,” he added.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced late last month that more than 600,000 tricycle drivers throughout the country will be receiving fuel subsidy.

In March, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) began providing fuel subsidy to other public transport operators and drivers. However, the board was waiting the tricycle and delivery driver beneficiary list from the DILG.

Libreng Sakay

Marcos, meanwhile, stated that the government will also grant “Libreng Sakay” (free rides) for students taking the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) to provide them a faster ride to their schools in Quezon City and in the University Belt in Manila.

Earlier, Marcos approved free rides for the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) Bus Carousel until December 2022, from the original expiry date of June 30.

“Libreng Sakay continues as is…But what we are going to do is we are going to do a program for the students. Because if they come in, we will fully subsidize first their pamasahe (fare),” he said. “Students will ride for free on LRT-2 which is going to the University Belt.”

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) last week noted that free rides for students would be implemented from August to November or during the first quarter of the school year 2022 to 2023.

Free train rides for the general public, however, would be discontinued due to fiscal considerations.

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.