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DOTr’s fuel subsidy, Libreng Sakay Programs should stay in 2023 budget – House Speaker

“This is one of the pro-people provisions of the proposed national budget. Kailangan ito ng mga mamamayan,” the solon said.

SPEAKER Martin G. Romualdez on Tuesday said they will push for the retention of funds allocated for fuel subsidy and Libreng Sakay programs under the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“This is one of the pro-people provisions of the proposed national budget. Kailangan ito ng mga mamamayan,” Romualdez said.

The House of Representatives decided to earmark P5.5 billion for the Pantawid Pasada Fuel Program (P2.5 billion), Libreng Sakay (P2 billion) and bike lanes construction (P1 billion) as part of the
P77-billion institutional amendments for pro-people programs in the national budget.

“Itong Pantawid Pasada at Libreng Sakay, diretsong ginhawa ito sa ating mga kababayan. Ayuda ito sa mga drayber at operators sa panahon ng pagtaas ng presyo ng produktong petrolyo. At ang libreng sakay naman ay malaking tulong sa ating commuter na nahihirapang pagkasyahin ang kita sa isang araw,” Romualdez said.

Rising oil prices continue to batter the public transport sector, and Romualdez said the fuel subsidy program remains one of the government services that drivers and operators look forward to in times of need.

“House believes that the Libreng Sakay program will really help commuters. Pinondohan namin ‘yan dahil kailangan,” Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Zaldy Co, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said.

The service contracting or “Libreng Sakay” program of the DOTr and LTFRB started in 2020 and was mandated under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. It was continued in 2021 and 2022.

Bike lanes, meanwhile, encourage citizens to use bicycles to go to and from work. “It is a way to be physically healthy and at the same time reduces vehicles on the road,” Co added.

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