Laoag City – More than 1,000 tricycle and jeepney drivers in the province of Ilocos Norte will receive fuel subsidies to assist them in the ongoing health crisis and oil price hike.
On Friday, more than 100 city tricycle drivers here were given gas vouchers worth ₱ 1,000 each.
Under the “Pantawid Pasada” program of the provincial government, all tricycle and jeepney drivers, including operators who are members of the Metro Ilocos Norte Council (MINC), are given cards where the bearer could avail of gas vouchers in participating gas stations in the province.
Lawyer Althea Nicolette Pilar, project head of the MINC, said the provincial government has allotted about PHP20 million for the program.
“We will be reaching out to all local government units to carry out this program. (The) PHP1,000 will be given (to) each tricycle and PHP1,500 for jeepney drivers,” Pilar said, noting that the total number of beneficiaries was still being consolidated as of this posting.
Earlier, Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc met with members of the Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association to thank them for helping the government provide efficient transportation services despite the risk of being exposed to the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“This is just the beginning and we are here to extend our support to our public utility drivers. We know how you are greatly affected by the pandemic – of having no face-to-face classes, and there are no students around,” Manotoc said to the initial batch of tricycle driver beneficiaries who were given gas subsidy at the Nangalisan gas station here.
He assured that in the next budget, additional funds would again be allocated in support of the public transport sector, one of the most affected during the pandemic.
(Leilanie Adriano via Philippine News Agency, photo courtesy by Nikki Pilar)