Multicab operators want fuel subsidy, too

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – Operators of Multicab public utility vehicles here are asking Malacañang and the Department of Energy to include them in the government’s fuel subsidy program.

Edil Gonzaga, secretary-general of the Davao-based transport group Transmission-Piston, said that the presidents of 15 associations representing 3,000 Multicab operators have already signed a petition for the appeal.

They said that if drivers of diesel-powered jeepneys are getting P1,050 and tricycle drivers P150 in fuel subsidy, then Multicab drivers should be given the same benefit, too.

Multicabs, unlike many jeepneys, use gasoline.

“Why discriminate by giving subsidy only to those using vehicles running on diesel and to tricycle drivers? Like them, we’re also giving service to the public,” Gonzaga said.

He added that they will encourage all Multicab operators in the country to express their demand to the government.

Rogel Francisco, spokesperson of the Alyansa sa mga Drivers ug Operators batuk sa Multicab Phaseout (Adobamp) in Davao City, pointed out that they are not included in the fuel subsidy.

“We will submit this proposal as soon as possible to the Department of Energy and Malacañang,” Francisco said.

Last April Malacañang instituted Executive Order No. 32 known as “Pantawid Pasada Program” to franchise holders of PUJs and tricycles. In the city, each PUJ operator will receive a fuel card worth P1,050 while tricycle drivers, P150. The initial budget of the program is P450 million from the Special Account in the General Fund. The purpose of this program is to ease the impact of high fuel prices on the riding public.

In their petition, the Multicab operators also stated that the P1,050 subsidy is not enough to mitigate the impact of the recent oil price increases.

Last week, Multicab drivers held a dialogue and a rally in front of the DOE office. They are also calling to scrap the Oil Deregulation Law, which they said is the reason for the unregulated fuel increases by oil companies.

Moreover, they are planning to stage a bigger rally to make their demand known to the government.

The transport group also lamented that the program is not a sustainable move for it is just a one-shot deal and a dole out. (MindaNews)