MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday defended the recent decision to implement a PHP1 fare hike in jeepeneys, stressing that it was due to the surge in oil prices in the world market.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory (LTFRB) approved the provisional fare hike of PHP1 for the first 4 kilometers for jeepeneys plying National Capital Region, Region 3 and 4 on Wednesday night.
However, the LTFRB said the fare hike will take effect once the board releases its order.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque assured that there would be adjustments made on jeepney fares once oil prices drop.
It's a result of the increase in price of petroleum but we assure you if the price of petroleum goes down, there will be corresponding adjustments as well, Roque said.
Meanwhile, Roque said the government has measures in place to cushion the effects of the high oil prices and the government's Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
Roque earlier said the government is tapping the purchase of cheaper oil products from countries that are not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) such as Russia.
To date, the Philippines sources its fuel from OPEC-member countries.
Roque said the negotiation to import diesel from Russia is ongoing and the government will urge the private sector to contribute to ensure energy security.
The good news is that the importation of Russian diesel is ongoing. The problem is we don't have enough depots but I think government is encouraging the private sector to build depots now because we're really focusing on energy security, Roque said.
There are also amelioration measures such as the unconditional cash transfer (UCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to help cope with the TRAIN Law, he added.
Ang pinapatupad po ngayon e yung mga amelioration measure, yung PHP200 po na unconditional cash transfer (The amelioration measure we are implementing is the PHP 200 unconditional cash transfer), Roque said.
Atsaka yung (And the) jeepney voucher, PHP5,000 per unit will be implemented this July. 'Yan po ang pinapatupad ng gobyerno para maibsan yung epekto ng TRAIN (Those are the measures being implemented by the government to cushion the effects of TRAIN), he added.
The Department of Transportation's fuel subsidy program for PUVs will be allocating a budget of PHP977 million to provide a PHP5,000 fuel subsidy to 179,852 legitimate jeepney franchise holders for the initial implementation of the program.
Its initial phase will be coordinated with various agencies such as the LTFRB, Departments of Energy, Finance, Budget and Management, and the Landbank of the Philippines. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency