ROCKY START | DOTr’s Pantawid Pasada debit card distribution rescheduled
5 days ago
JULY 12, 2018 – Transport groups slammed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for rescheduling the supposed start of distribution of the Pantawid Pasada debit cards to jeepney operators.
The DOTr program was meant to provide financial relief to jeepney operators amid rising prices of petroleum products.
“Dito pa lang bigo na sila. Lalo pa siguro kung ibibigay nila na mas nakakarami na libo-libong prankisa. Kaya itong programa ng LTFRB na ito ay papogi points lamang…Para dun sa kunyari may mai-report lamang sila. Propaganda lang ito sa darating na SONA,” Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization President Efren de Luna said.
Originally, 10,000 jeepney operators from Metro Manila were supposed to receive their cards on Thursday which were meant to shield them from the increase in prices of diesel brought about by the additional P2.50 excise tax imposed by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
But the attendees were surprised to find out that no one will be receiving any debit cards. It turned out that the DOTr was told to give the lump sum amount of P5,000, instead of giving out P833 every month.
“Napagsabihan kami sa taas, sabi niya hindi pwede ‘yun. Palitan niyo ang sistema. Kung may ibibigay na rin lang kayo sa taumbayan, ibigay niyo nang minsanan,” DOTr Undersecretary Tim Orbos said.
The program was meant to jumpstart the distribution of cards, but until now it is still not clear to operators how they can claim their cards.
“We need to change the mechanism and we need to coordinate with Landbank. Ang gagawin namin dito kase, meron pa rin silang gagawin — fill up ng forms, briefing on procedure of distribution at pag-orient kung saang gasolinahan sila pupunta,” LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said.
The actual distribution of cards has been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 17, as the Landbank scrambles to adjust its systems.
UV Express operators also questioned why they are not included in the dole out of fuel subsidies. UV Express groups have since resorted to filing a petition for a P1-per-kilometer increase in fares to accommodate the rising prices of fuel.
“Kung ibibigay doon, bakit kaya hindi pwedeng ibigay sa amin? Bibigyan sila ng one peso 9 (fare increase)? Bibigyan pa sila ng pantawid? Eh siguro naman makatarungan na idamay ang UV Express,” Code X President Lino Marable said.
The LTFRB, however, said the TRAIN Law was clear that only jeepney operators will benefit from the fuel subsidies.