THE GOVERNMENT has started the distribution of fuel subsidy to qualified jeepney drivers to help them deal with rising fuel prices, the Transport department announced on Wednesday.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), an attached agency of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), said it has identified more than 136,000 eligible jeepney drivers for the P1 billion total cash assistance.

Each driver is allocated P7,200.

About 78,000 jeepney operators can now use the fuel subsidy for their drivers, the LTFRB said in a statement.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade recently signed a tripartite memorandum of agreement among the DoTr, the LTFRB, and the LANDBANK of the Philippines for the distribution of the P1-billion fuel subsidy.

The agreement lays down the framework and documentation rules for the immediate implementation of the program upon receipt of the budget from the Department of Budget and Management.

“According to LANDBANK, as of yesterday, they were already able to credit the amount of P7,200 to around 78,000 beneficiaries,” LTFRB Director Zona Russet M. Tamayo said.

“Again, we would like to put emphasis that this should be used for fuel purchases,” she added.

The fuel subsidy, which drivers receive via their Pantawid Pasada Program ATM cards, can be used at gas stations of Petron, Shell, Seaoil, Total, Jetti, Rephil, Caltex, Petro Gazz, and Unioil. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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