Hike service

7 billion pesos released for PUV service contracts: DBM

MANILA – The Ministry of Budget and Management announced on Tuesday that it has released 7 billion pesos for cash grants to utility drivers affected by soaring fuel prices.

DBM said the amount was given to the Ministry of Transport for the implementation of the Service Contract Program (SCP).

Under this program, PUV operators will be contracted through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and PUV drivers will receive regular performance-based subsidies based on the number of trips made per week, regardless of or the number of passengers.

“This will be implemented through two types of contracts – net cost contracts and gross cost contracts – to ensure fair compensation for services to be provided by PUV drivers,” DBM said.

The LTFRB will partner with priority local government units to engage cooperatives, associations or public transport companies operating within their jurisdiction.

“The SCP is part of the government’s targeted assistance to help cushion the impact of consecutive oil price hikes on vulnerable sectors,” DBM said.

The government has pushed back on calls to suspend fuel excise taxes despite rising prices, saying targeted subsidies are a better way to cushion the impact of oil peaks on the transport sector.

Some transport groups meanwhile have criticized the subsidies as insufficient.