To help public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers recover from the impact of the continuing oil prices hike, the national government will be giving away P1 billion in cash grants. 

The aid – to be given to at least 178,000 registered PUV drivers – will be distributed through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) announced on Monday (October 25). 

The DBCC, which is composed of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Department of Finance (DOF), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the Office of the President (OP), said the initiative will be financed through the 2021 Unprogrammed Appropriations under the Support for Infrastructure Projects and Social Programs.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, who also serves as the head of NEDA, said the grants will also help commuters as fare hikes could be mitigated through this strategy. 

“The subsidy for PUVs will mitigate the need to increase fare prices so commuters can be helped also,” Chua said in a text message sent to Inquirer

Though the monetary aid has been confirmed, its release is yet to be announced.

For nine consecutive weeks now, oil companies have increased pump prices for gas prices. This prompted the Department of Energy to call for the suspension of petroleum excise tax.

However, the DOF warned against it, noting the government could lose as much as P131.4 billion in revenue next year if it was to be implemented.

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