Senator Win Gatchalian is planning to file a bill institutionalizing the Pantawid Pasada Program to address the adverse effects of oil price hikes, particularly among the vulnerable sectors such as the public transport.
“This is a tried and tested program already. We have done it in the past, in many of the aberrations in world oil prices,” Gatchalian said.
To ensure the immediate receipt of the fuel subsidy, the re-electionist senator also proposed the use of e-wallets for the timely remittance to the targeted beneficiaries.
Data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed that the price hikes since December 28 last year reflected an increase of P6.80 or 10.85% per liter for gasoline, P10.20 or 21.70% for diesel, and P8.23 or 15.86% for kerosene.
Gatchalian said that an institutionalized Pantawid Pasada Program is economically viable as against the idea of suspension of excise taxes on fuel which the Department of Finance (DOF) said will be inequitable and will be detrimental to the country’s economic recovery and long-term growth.
Based on estimates from the Office of the Senator, the suspension of fuel excise taxes will forego P271.238 billion in revenues contrary to the Pantawid Pasada program which would cost the government P1.936 billion, covering all public utility vehicles (PUVs).
Gatchalian said that the almost 2 billion peso-fund is already covered by the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) as there’s P2.5 billion allocation for the continuing implementation of the program.
Meanwhile, a total of 377,443 beneficiaries will receive their fuel subsidy amounting to P6,500 once the program resumes in April.