Only legit trikes will benefit from fuel subsidy— mayor PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 May 2011 16:59

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday said only motorized tricycle franchise holders with renewed franchises will be included in the list of recipients of the government’s fuel subsidy dubbed “Pantawid Pasada” program.

This, as the City Government and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are expected to firm up plans for the scheme in the distribution of the fuel subsidy following a memorandum of agreement (MOA) which is being utilized nationwide.

The City Council last Wednesday has authorized Mayor Lobregat to sign the MOA with the DILG for the fuel subsidy program implementation for tricycle drivers in the city.

Mayor Lobregat however in an interview with City Hall reporters would not divulge other details concerning the fuel subsidy specifically the amount to be distributed per tricycle franchise holder or how it will be given.

“For the details of the program we will still meet with the DILG again but the local government will help (in the implementation) because the national government cannot do it on its own on a nationwide scale”, the chief executive said.

Initially, Lobregat said, based on the MOA, the funding for the fuel subsidy will be downloaded to the Local Government Unit which will be in charge in distributing the amount to the beneficiaries in coordination with the DILG office in the area.

The “Pantawid Pasada” is a government assistance program to help tricycle owners cushion the effects of oil price increases. Reports indicate that the program has started implementation in the Luzon area.

It is part of President Benigno Aquino III’s Public Transport Assistance Program (PTAP), created through his Executive Order No. 32, aimed at cushioning the impact of high fuel prices both on the transport and commuter sector.

On the other hand, the mayor stressed only tricycle owners who have renewed their franchises pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance 185 will be entitled to the fuel subsidy.

Based on the list from the Tricycle Adjudication Board (TAB), over 7,000 tricycle franchise holders are operating in the city but only about 4,600 have renewed their franchises and paid the corresponding fees with the City Treasurer’s office (CTO).  “So the remaining almost 3,000 (tricycle units) are either no longer operational or are running without franchises” .

The CTO has advised all motorized tricycle franchise holders to renew their franchises and pay the corresponding fees on or before May 2 or face sanctions.  Originally, the deadline for the payment of franchise fees as well as business taxes and all other fees pertaining to the renewal of business permits was January 20.

TAB, according to Mayor Lobregat will check and apprehend all tricycle units without franchises. — Sheila Covarrubias