THE operators of around 15,000 land-based public utility vehicles (PUVs) in Central Visayas are set to receive the P6,500 in cash aid per PUV unit operated through the direct cash subsidy program of the National Government.
Eduardo Montealto Jr., director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7, said his office had already forwarded a list containing a total of 14,992 active PUV units operated under valid franchises to the central office.
Some operators own 10 units, and so each of them will receive P6,500 for each of the 10 units, Montealto said.
Of the 14,992 PUV units listed by the LTFRB 7, a total of 1,024 are public utility buses; 90, point-to-point buses; 314, minibuses; 2,626, Filcabs or multicabs; 9,817, traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs); 793, utility vehicle express; and 328, modern PUJs.
The LTFRB said the direct cash subsidy is a program under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, also known as Bayanihan 2. The nationwide program aims to provide assistance to PUV operators whose operations are critically affected by the safety protocol implemented in the transportation sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The program has a national budget of around P1.2 billion.
Montealto said all land-based PUV operators are eligible as long as they have valid operating franchises.
The beneficiaries can receive their cash subsidies via their Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) cash cards. Those who do not have the PPP cash cards can receive their cash aid through their existing LBP accounts.
Other operators can also receive their subsidies via their accounts in electronic fund transfer (EFT) services such as Pesonet and Instapay. Those who do not have the PPP cash cards, and LBP and EFT service accounts can do an over-the-counter withdrawal in any LBP branches.
Montealto said though the LTFRB 7 plans to launch the program virtually on Friday, Nov. 20, yet, some TPUJ operators in Cebu have already received their cash aid directly from the National Government. The subsidy was downloaded to their PPP cash cards on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Among those included in the first batch of the Tuesday payout were four TPUJ operators in Cebu.
Montealto said one of these four operators is from Barangay Talamban, Cebu City who operates six TPUJ units. The other three operators operate only one TPUJ unit each.
He said the operators are required to report to the LTFRB 7 if they have already received their cash aid.
Montealto said the first to be accommodated will be the TPUJ operators who have PPP cash cards.
In 2018, the LTFRB 7 distributed 8,000 PPP cash cards to operators of 8,000 TPUJs in Central Visayas. The agency provided fuel subsidy at the time.
Some TPUJ operators failed to claim their PPP cash cards before the deadline the LTFRB 7 had set last year.
Montealto encouraged operators of PUVs to submit their LBP accounts.
For operators who will claim their cash subsidy via over-the-counter withdrawal, they will just have to inquire at the LTFRB 7 and present their LTFRB documents to the LBP once their funds are available, Montealto said. (WBS)