December 6, 2023

Four thousand six hundred seventy-six public utility vehicle operators/drivers in the Cordillera will be given cash subsidy by the Department of Transportation.

The regional offices of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board started distributing the cash subsidy last Nov. 16.

The subsidy is an assistance to PUV drivers affected by modifications in the transportation system implemented since March when Luzon was declared on a lockdown.

PUVs include buses, point-to-point transport service, mini buses, UV Express, jeeps, and FilCabs.

Based on the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, P1,161,214,210 was allotted as subsidy for drivers or operators.

Each PUV operator will receive P6,500 per unit, which can be used for loan payment, fuel and other operational and maintenance expenses; purchase of supplies used in preventing the spread of the Covid-19 such as face mask, face shield, alcohol, disinfectant; and others that operators/drivers may need so they could continue operating.

The subsidy will be distributed in three ways: through the Pantawid Pasada cash cards, deposited in the LandBank to those who have accounts at said bank, and through PESONet or INSTAPay.

Drivers and operators have long been clamoring for a fare increase because of the mandatory reduction in the number of passengers. However, the LTFRB said it cannot grant a fare adjustment in consideration of those who also lost their jobs due to the closure of non-essential establishments. – Rimaliza A. Opiña