The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved the release of P3 billion for the implementation of the Fuel Subsidy to the Transport Sector Affected by Increasing Fuel Prices [also known as the Fuel Subsidy Program (FSP)], which aims to provide assistance to approximately 1.36 million drivers and operators who were affected by the series of oil price hikes.
“Transportation is the lifeblood of our economy. Bilin po sa amin ni President Bongbong Marcos na tulungan at huwag pabayaan ang ating mga manggagawa sa transport sector. Kaya naman po sisiguruhin namin na mabibigyan sila ng nararapat na tulong mula sa gobyerno,” DBM Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said.
The release of funds in the amount of P3 billion was made upon the request of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and in accordance with Special Provision (SP) No. 7 of the DOTr-OSEC agency-specific budget authorized under Republic Act (RA) No. 11936, otherwise known as the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
The DBM initially returned the DOTr’s request dated 9 August 2023, due to the noted deficiencies and inconsistencies in the accompanying supporting documents, including the non-submission of the guidelines to be issued by the DOTr, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the DBM, which is required under SP No. 7 in the FY 2023 DOTr-Office of the Secretary (DOTr-OSEC) Budget.
However, on 4 September 2023, the DBM received the hard copy of the officially-resubmitted request from the DOTr accompanied by the required supporting documents, including a copy of the FSP guidelines dated 31 August 2023, duly-signed by the respective Heads of the DOTr, DBM, DOE, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Landbank of the Philippines (LBP).
As identified and validated by the LTFRB, in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the 1.36 million target beneficiaries of the FSP will be given a one-time fuel subsidy, with varying rates depending on the applicable mode of transportation.
The subsidy rates are as follows:
-Modernized Public Utility Jeepney (MPUJ): P10,000
-Modernized Utility Vehicle Express (MUVE): P10,000
-Traditional PUJ: P6,500
-Traditional UVE: P6,500
-Public Utility Buses (PUB): P6,500
-Shuttle Services Taxis: P6,500
-Transport Network Vehicle Services: P6,500
-Tourist Transport Services: P6,500
-School Transport Services: P6,500
-Delivery Services: P1,200
The subsidy shall be released to the DOTr-OSEC, which shall in turn, fully transfer the same to the LTFRB, as the implementing agency.
Based on the master list of eligible beneficiaries certified by the LTFRB, DICT, DTI, and the DILG, the LBP shall distribute the subsidies through the identified modes of payment, upon receipt of instructions from the LTFRB on the procedures, mechanics, and the agreed schedule.
The LBP shall provide the DOTr and the LTFRB with reports on its successful crediting of subsidies to beneficiaries.
The FSP is expected to ease some of the burden faced by transport workers amid rising fuel prices and inflation. It is also part of President Marcos’ commitment to support and protect vulnerable sectors from economic shocks.