Aquino issues E.O. No. 32 instituting the Public Transport Assistance Program

April 6, 2011 12:37 am 

MANILA, April 5 — President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Executive Order No. 32 granting the temporary assistance to the transport sector to cushion the impact of continuing increases in fuel prices.

The EO institutes the Public Transport Assistance program (PTAP) aptly called as the Pantawid Pasada program of the government that initially allots P450,000 million to assist jeepney and tricycle operators in the country.

The program partially subsidizes the average consumption of identified public transport group provided that they have legitimate franchises under the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The Energy Department will also be using “smart cards” to ensure the integrity of program.

In the case of the tricycles, the PTAP will subsidize a portion of their average consumption while the remaining portion will be funded by local government units through counterpart allocations.

After one-month of implementation, the DOE will submit a report to the Inter-agency Energy Contingency Committee (IECC) on the status of the PTAP implementation which will then prepare a recommendation to the President who will decide whether to continue or scrap the program.

According to E.O. 32, the initial P450,000 million will come from the special account in the general fund (SAGE) of the DOE to be released by the Department of the Budget and Management (DBM).

“The goal here is to ease the burden on the public transport operators so that they can also pass on the saving to the regular commuters,” Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Carandang expressed hope that with the implementation of the EO, some transport groups are still asking the government for more fare hikes will reconsider their plans.

The government has not included the farmers and fisherfolks in the relief assistance noting however that this proposal is now being studied, he said.

For other sectors who ask for similar assistance, Carandang said, the government doesn’t have unlimited source of money that is why it came up with the Pantawid Pasada Program as a way of targeting a segment of the transport sector that needed the most assistance.

“There is limitation of fund, we can’t afford permanent subsidy for everybody. So given what we have, we target it where we feel it is most effective,” he said. (PNA)

DCT/PCOO/ssc

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