P3.79M fuel subsidy for trike operators, drivers in R-12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 May) — More than 25,000 tricycle operators and drivers in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao are set to receive a fuel subsidy of P150 each as part of the ongoing implementation of the national government’s Pantawid Pasada-Public Transport Assistance Program.

Reynaldo Bungubung, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Region 12 acting assistant regional director, said the national government has released some P3.79 million to the region for the fuel subsidy scheme, which is mainly aimed at easing the impact of the recent increases in oil prices in the local transport sector.

He said the subsidy would be released simultaneously to the beneficiaries on Thursday through the DILG’s city and provincial operations offices in the region.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Cotabato and Kidapawan.

“This may be considered minimal by some sectors but I think this will mean a lot to our beneficiaries,” Bungubung said.

Under the program, he said the identified 25,331 beneficiaries in the region will receive a one-time fuel subsidy of P150 each.

The official said the beneficiaries were chosen based on the list of tricycle operators and drivers with legitimate and active franchises as endorsed by the local governments.

In South Cotabato, DILG provincial chief Josephine C. Leysa said they have identified some 8,041 tricycle franchisees as beneficiaries.

She clarified that only those who were included in the duly-certified list of tricycle franchisees may receive the fuel subsidy, which would be released through the local government units.

Leysa said the national government earlier allocated some P1.2 million for the implementation of the subsidy scheme in the province.

She said Koronadal City, which has more than 4,000 tricycle franchise holders, received the bulk of the fuel subsidy.

“We created task forces in every municipality to ensure the dissemination of correct information about the program and avoid confusion among the target beneficiaries,” she added. (Allen V.