DBM: Fuel aid to farmer, transport groups ₧4B this year

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THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Thursday confirmed that the national government has allotted a total of P4 billion to provide fuel assistance to transport workers and farmers this year to help them mitigate the impact of high oil prices.

In a statement, the DBM said the funds are charged against the regular budgets of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“As directed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., this administration will continue providing fuel subsidies to our kababayan, especially in the most vulnerable sectors—public transport and agriculture,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said.

“We are banking on our transport and agriculture sector to boost economic recovery. And so we need to provide them the help and boost they need,” she added.

The DBM explained that P3 billion is lodged in the 2023 national budget to bankroll fuel vouchers to qualified public utility vehicle, taxi, tricycle, and full-time ride-hailing and delivery services drives nationwide.

The amount, the DBM pointed out, was P500 million higher than the P2.5 billion fuel subsidy allocated by the national government last year.

“The program’s implementation is subject to guidelines issued by the DOTr, the Department of Energy [DOE], and the DBM,” it said.

“Beneficiaries will be validated and identified by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board [LTFRB],” it added.

Meanwhile, the DBM said the DA will receive a P1-billion fund for its fuel assistance to over 312,000 farmers and fisherfolk. Under the DA’s fuel subsidy program, each beneficiary will receive P3,000 “to ensure unimpeded agricultural production and fishing operations,” the DBM said.