SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday urged the government to reactivate the “Pantawid Pasada” fuel subsidy program for members of the public transport affected by rising fuel prices.
“Ang panawagan ko sa ating pamahalaan ay protektahan natin ang ating mga tsuper at pasahero. Dito papasok ‘yung programa na Pantawid Pasada kung saan pinopondohan muna ng gobyerno para ma-absorb ‘yung pagtaas ng presyo ng petrolyo (I am calling on the government to protect our drivers and commuters. This is where the Pantawid Pasada program comes in wherein the government will provide subsidy to mitigate the impact of the rising prices of petroleum),” Gatchalian said.
He called on the Department of Energy to monitor the inventory compliance of oil companies to ensure adequate supply and help further lessen price increases in the coming months.
Gatchalian made the call as the country’s oil companies raised pump prices for the seventh consecutive week amid the volatility of global oil supply.
Chevron Philippines Inc., PTT Philippines, Seaoil Philippines, PetroGazz, Unioil Petroleum Philippines and Cleanfuel raised pump prices by P1.50 per liter for diesel, P1.45 per liter for kerosene and P1.30 per liter for gasoline effective on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, said there’s a potential average increase of P1,422.50 in the monthly fuel expense of passenger jeepneys using gasoline, and a potential average increase of P598.36 for those using diesel.
He said the government needs at least P914,160,894 to subsidize the fuel expenditures of 178,244 valid franchise holders of public utility jeepneys nationwide for three months.
Gatchalian noted that the price of gasoline increased to P58.85 per liter this month compared to P51.25 in October last year while diesel prices rose to P47.90 per liter this month compared to P35.46 last year.
“Itong sitwasyon natin ay maaari pang lumala dahil bukod sa winter season na, maraming ekonomiya na sa buong mundo ang unti-unting nagbubukas at dumadami na rin ang gumagamit ng petrolyo. Inaasahan nating tuluy-tuloy pa ang pagtaas ng presyo ng langis sa pandaigdigang merkado hanggang sa katapusan ng taon (Our situation could worsen considering the winter season is starting, and more economies are opening and are now using more petroleum. We expect that oil price hikes in the world market will continue until the end of the year),” he said.