PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE TRANSPORTATION department on Monday said it is planning to increase the incentives it provides, through the service contracting program, to public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and drivers as a way to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices. 

In a statement, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said the department has formally proposed to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Energy (DoE) that PUVs be given a uniform discount at gas stations nationwide.   

Mr. Tugade also urged drivers and operators to take part in the government’s service contracting program where they will get paid on per kilometer basis to ensure that their operations remain “viable.”  

Sa binabayad na insentibo sa ilalim ng service contracting, kinonsidera po natin ang gastusin sa krudo (the incentive covers the fuel cost),” he noted. 

“In consideration of the oil price hike, we are studying to increase the incentive for every kilometer,” Mr. Tugade added in Filipino. 

In a phone message to BusinessWorld, Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope O. Libiran said the government currently pays public buses under the service contracting program P82.50 per kilometer. The subsidy per kilometer for jeepneys and other small modes of transportation under the program is P52.50.  

Oil prices increased again this week by P1.8 per liter for gasoline, P1.5/L for diesel, and P1.3/L for kerosene. — Arjay L. Balinbin