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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

 

Pantawid Pasada is just a 'cushion' says Sec Almendras

by Nephel Fabiola

QUEZON CITY, January 18 (PIA) -- Department of Energy Secretary Rene Almendras today reiterated that the Pantawid Pasada Program is not the government's solution to rising petroleum prices.

Almendras also said that the program should also not be perceived as an alternative to fare hike.

He said that Pantawid Pasada program was devised as a stop gap measure to cushion the effect of "spikes" in oil prices. He said program beneficiaries can avail of this as a fall back mechanism while price adjustments are taking place in the market.

The program which started in April last year entitled qualified public utility jeepney and tricycle drivers to receive P1,500 as one-time gasoline assistance through DOE-released smart cards.

The secretary, however, said that some drivers could not avail of the Pasada cards because they did not have the two required documents such as Land Transportation Office registration papers, and franchise certificate from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Almendras added that the DOE was directed by the Commission on Audit to give the cards only to drivers who have complete documents.

“I think it is only fair that the government help those who abide by the rules,” he said in Filipino.

The DOE printed about 200,000 cards based on the list submitted by the LTO. Only 100,000 cards, however, were released and loaded.

The energy secretary said he would not comment on whether or not there is a need for fare hike increase as this did not fall under the mandate of the department.

Almendras was a guest in the Philippine Information Agency’s Communication and Exchange Forum as he led launched of the DOE’s Nationwide Best E-trike Design Contest. (RDA/NFK/PIA-GHQ)

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