Philippine Government Provides Temporary Fuel Assistance

By Leslie D. Venzon

The Department of Energy (DoE) is seeking approval of Malacanang on the draft executive order providing temporary fuel assistance that will enable the transport sector to cope with the impact of rising oil prices.

“We are seeking funds from the DoF (Department of Finance). We are hoping that it would be approved next week and hopefully, we can apply that assistance within the next three weeks,” DoE Undersecretary Jose Layug said in a seminar for members of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) held at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

Layug explained that the fuel assistance program involves the distribution of pre-paid automated teller machine (ATM) cards that will provide discounted prices of P2-3 per liter to jeepney, bus, taxi and tricycle drivers for a one-month period.

He said the fund for the fuel aid will be sourced from excess revenues or savings of the government, particularly from the value-added tax on petroleum.

“It’s a very temporary (mitigating) measure because it is the call of the time,” Layug said, noting that oil prices will increase anew this week due to higher international crude prices.

The energy official attributed the price adjustment to the United States-led bombings in Libya that caused an uptick of $ 2-3 per barrel in international crude oil.

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