LTFRB vows to distribute 2nd tranche of P5-B fuel subsidy   

Amid the skyrocketing oil prices, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has committed to distribute the second tranche of the P5-billion fuel subsidy for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators this month.,In a radio interview on Saturday, LTFRB Executive Director Tina Cassion said they are now preparing documents for the distribution of another P6,500 fuel subsidy for PUV sector.,“By last week of June or early July, we will implement the second tranche,” she said.,Cassion noted that beneficiaries of the second tranche are the same as those who received the first tranche.,LTFRB data showed that as of last week there were only less than 5,000 beneficiaries who are yet to receive the first tranche of the fuel subsidy.,Amid the high oil prices, the transportation sector has been asking the government to suspend the excise tax on fuel to provide them cushion.,However, instead of heading the appeal, the government implemented fuel subsidy program. It consists of two tranches of P2.5 billion each, which aims to extend P6,500 cash grants to 377,000 beneficiaries.,The LTFRB-supervised PUV drivers and operators, tricycle drivers and operators under the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and delivery riders under the Department of Trade and Industry were included in the program.,The LTFRB approved a P1 provisional increase on the minimum fare on Wednesday. The minimum fare covering the first four kilometers is now P10.,The fare hike will cover jeepneys in Metro Manila and Regions 3 and 4.,“The Board recognizes the plight of the Filipino people every time an increase on price of commodities occur, including the cost of public transport, it cannot be insensitive to the clamor and plight of PUV operators and drivers who are responsible in ensuring a steady supply of public transport services,” the LTFRB said granting the June increase.,The hike was in response to petitions by various transport organizations amid the continuous increase in prices of oil.,The petitioners were 1-United Transport Koalisyon, Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila & Suburbs Drivers Association Nationwide o Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations.,They were initially asking for P5 fare increase but it was rejected by the LTFRB.,This week, local oil companies announced that diesel prices surged by a whopping P6.55 per liter and gasoline prices by P2.70 per liter. Kerosene prices, on the other hand, increased by  P5.45 per liter.,