Another cash aid for Mandaue transport sector eyed

·3 min read

THE Mandaue City Government is planning to provide another cash assistance to members of its transportation sector amid the ongoing increase in fuel prices.

City Administrator Jamaal James Calipayan told SunStar Cebu on Monday, June 27, 2022, that they are trying to seek more ways to help the city's tricycle drivers and operators cope with the continuous increase in the fuel products.

One of the ways they are looking into is providing an additional cash subsidy, which they believe the drivers will need to survive with the ongoing oil price hike.

"They (drivers) need cash because of the increasing fuel prices. That is the number one thing we are trying to work on because the increase directly affects their profits and income," said Calipayan.

The Philippine petroleum products are currently about P92 per liter for diesel, P87 per liter for gasoline, and also about P92 per liter for kerosene.

The Department of Energy (DOE) even stated that oil prices might hit P100 per liter soon.

The increase, said the DOE, is because European countries continue to refuse to import oil from Russia amid its conflict with Ukraine.

Another factor is the recovery of economies from the coronavirus disease pandemic, which had increased the fuel demand.

Earlier in Mandaue City, the local government said it is set to distribute one-time cash assistance amounting to P5,000 each for about 957 legitimate tricycle drivers and operators as a fuel subsidy.

The cash will be equally divided in the city’s four zones (routes). There will be around 169 recipients in Zone 1, 430 in Zone 2, 125 in Zone 3, and 233 in Zone 4.

It will be distributed at the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex from June 30 to July 1.

Contrary to the earlier announcement that about 1,700 beneficiaries are entitled to claim the assistance, Calipayan clarified that the list showing only 957 beneficiaries might not have been finalized yet by the City Treasurer's Office.

The City Government prepared the cash aid according to a city ordinance, aiming to provide financial help to those trike drivers and operators who had a franchise (expired or active) as of March 20, 2020.

It was not because of the oil price hike but mainly because those times were the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and because of lockdowns, many trike drivers and operators were unable to operate, said Calipayan.

In the ordinance, the Mandaue City Government allotted about P12 million for the cash distribution.

Calipayan said they also intend to also provide cash assistance to the city's motorcycle taxi (habal-habal) drivers, but they are having difficulty having an inventory as most of these drivers are not licensed.

For the public utility drivers (PUJ), he said they are under the directive of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Calipayan said they would try to implement the plan of giving another cash aid right after the distribution of the fuel subsidy approved earlier.

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