Press Briefing

Economic Press Briefing with Land Transportation Franchising And Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III and PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan

Event Economic Press Briefing
Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building, Malacanang, Manila

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Good morning, MPC. Good morning, PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan. Good morning, sir.

ASEC. ABLAN:  Thank you, Alvin. Magandang umaga po sa lahat, and welcome to the weekly Economic Press Briefing hosted by the Economic Development Cluster and PCOO.

This week, we shall tackle the Pantawid Pasada Program of the Duterte administration under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law. We understand that our jeepneys remain one of the backbones of our urban transport network due to affordability and accessibility. The Pantawid Pasada Program aims to help our hardworking jeepney operators and drivers cope with the excise tax on diesel fuels with subsidies via fuel vouchers or fuel cards for more than a hundred seventy nine thousand legitimate jeepney franchise holders.

Contrary to popular opinion, fuel excise under the TRAIN Law is not anti-poor. More than half of the total fuel consumption in the whole country is consumed by the top 10% richest households. TRAIN was enacted to encourage fair and reasonable usage of imported fossil fuels, and ensure that the government will have funds to provide for better infrastructure, health, education, jobs and social protection for all Filipinos.

Last July 11, the Joint Memorandum Circular for Pantawid Pasada was signed by the implementing agencies; and now, jeepneys across the nation are receiving their fuel cards and fuel vouchers from the Landbank of the Philippines. During the signing ceremony, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno said, “We are hopeful that this program will provide relief to our transport sector, as we all continue to work towards our vision of real change – a better and more inclusive Philippines.

Now to explain a few details of the Pantawid Pasada Program, let us all welcome Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board or LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III. Chairman Delgra…

CHAIR DELGRA III:  A pleasant morning to everyone here present. Let me take this opportunity to thank the LTFRB team, the implementing agency of the Pantawid Pasada Program; the DOTr under the leadership of Secretary Art Tugade and our partner agencies: Department of Energy, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, as well as Landbank of the Philippines – all working together and in earnest to ensure the success of the program.

To briefly explain the Pantawid Pasada Program, it is one of the social mitigating measures provided in the TRAIN Law. Its goal is to provide targeted relief to the public transport sector, particularly the PUJ to cushion the impact of fuel prices brought about by the excise tax. The TRAIN Law prescribes the allotment and provision of fuel vouchers to qualified franchise holders of public utility jeepneys or PUJs. Approximately 179 thousand units under valid franchises nationwide are expected to benefit from the program. Each recipient will receive fuel subsidy of P5,000 for this year, and as proposed, four times as much next year.

On July 16, 2018, LTFRB working closely with partner government agencies as mentioned above started processing claims and distributing fuel cards to qualified PUJ franchise holders in Metro Manila.

Yesterday, August 28, the agency started the simultaneous distribution of fuel cards to 9 regions in the Philippines; the rest of the 5 regions, we will start distributing in the next 10 days to 2 week’s time.

Significant and important work has been done, yet much works still remains to be done and there are still challenges to face. LTFRB and Landbank in particular continue to work tirelessly to ensure the success of the program, so that we are able to provide assistance to as many qualified beneficiaries – our PUJ operators and drivers who are important stakeholders we are mandated to serve. Because we are confident that when we help improve the situation of our operators and drivers through these programs, such as the Pantawid Pasada, we would also be able to help improve the commuting experience of the riding public who are our most important stakeholders.

At this point in time, ladies and gentlemen, I would just like to present a brief Power Point presentation on the Pantawid Pasada Program.

As an update: The Pantawid Pasada Program as mentioned in the TRAIN Law, Section 88 thereof, is actually a fuel subsidy program to qualified franchise holders of public utility vehicles. So it’s very clear that when we talk about beneficiaries, we’re looking at legitimate/qualified PUJ franchise holders. Ang ibig sabihin, iyong may mga prangkisa – hindi po colorum.

Those eligible as prescribed by the TRAIN Law, as I’ve said earlier qualified franchise holders of PUJ and that the program duration shall be implemented for 2 years, 2018 until next year. As aligned with the transition period of the PUV Modernization Program which will end sometime middle of 2020. Through the Pantawid Pasada cards issued by Landbank, the subsidy shall be for fuel purchases only to all participating fuel petroleum retail outlets in consideration of authorized amounts allocated ‘no.

So iyong card po, the Pantawid Pasada card is a specially made card with the following features: On the card itself ‘no, you have the surname and the initial first name of the franchise holder; then you have the plate number of the vehicle, meaning the PUJ; and then the franchise number, the one at the second line; and then you have the region where the route is or where the PUJ is operating, okay; and the last line is actually the account number of the franchise holder – considering the fact that when they get the card, it’s actually like opening a bank account as well.

The requirement is fairly simple ‘no, they would just to submit a 1×1 photo and a photocopy of a valid government issued ID. And they will bring the original of the government issued ID at the card distribution center together with the photo, as well as a proof of franchise to be sure that they are the recipient of the Pantawid Pasada Card. And so when they get at the card distribution center, the beneficiary will just sign the enrolment form which are ready prepared by Landbank beforehand and sign a Deed of Undertaking. The Deed of Undertaking by the way, is actually a commitment on the part of the beneficiary that they are to use the card for the purpose for which it was intended.

The distribution guidelines would include that LTFRB will identify the Landbank’s servicing branches because they will be spread out all over the country. In one region, for example in Region IV whereby way of land area is the biggest in the country, if you would recall, it’s composed of 2 sub-regions – MIMAROPA and CALABARZON; and a number of these are actually island provinces. And for which reason, there would be a number of card distribution centers than usual because what would normally happen in other land-based regional offices, is that the—if there are only a few number of cards or a few hundred number of cards to be distributed, it would just be at the… either at the main branch of Landbank in that area or at the regional office of LTFRB

So these distribution centers by the way are already identified and that the Regional Directors were already directed weeks before the actual distribution, which started yesterday, to engage the public through the media for purposes of information dissemination on where the distribution would take place; and that the claiming of the cards will be scheduled as per operator assigned by the LTFRB.

The list of beneficiaries, are actually posted at the entrance of the assigned distribution center, but there are also posted in the website. So that for those beneficiaries who are interested to know whether their name is in the list, they can go into the LTFRB website and go to the window where the Pantawid Pasada Program is and just click the list.

Claiming the cards would require personal appearance of the franchise holder, pretty much like opening a new bank account. And claiming process is fairly simple, it’s 1,2,3,4. So just check on the list and then prepare the requirements, the three requirements as I have mentioned earlier and then, they will just go to the card distribution center and then they will be able to get a cards. When they get a card, they will go to the nearest ATM for it to be activated. So ganoon lang ang gagawin nila.

As mentioned, the assumptions in so far as the amount allocated is concerned,  is actually, that for 2018, the amount allocated is 5,000 per unit  which covers closed to—or there  about 179,000 of it all over the country. The entire amount actually is closed to P1 billion or to be exact 977 million. As proposed, as mentioned earlier, as proposed for next year, it would be four times as much as of this year.

So, in terms of timeline of implementation, here we have the program of preparation, middle of the year and then we have the pilot distribution of the first 10,000 cards in Metro Manila.  We actually have put it up in the central office of the Land Transportation Office in East Avenue, Quezon City. But we intend to identify other card distribution centers all across Metro Manila preferably, where the PUJ operators are operating their routes.

And the verification of beneficiaries and card distribution, at least in so far as the regional distribution is concerned, actually started August and we started with the distribution yesterday. And our target would be, within the quarter on or before the end of September.

As for some update on the regional distribution, we actually have started distribution in nine regional offices. In Region II, in  Cagayan Valley; Region IV in MIMAROPA and CALABARZON; Region VI in Iloilo;   Region VII, Central Visayas; Region  VIII, in Tacloban [Eastern Visayas];  Region X in Cagayan De Oro [Northern Mindanao]; Region XI in Davao Region and Region XII in Koronadal, South Cotabato. The figures are there, as to the number of cards have been produced for distribution to these regions.

The signing of the joint memorandum circular was done sometime in July 11, 2018 and which we started off with the preparation and eventually the distribution of the cards. We have some photos on the distribution of the cards – first at the LTO Central Office and then we also have it in the Regional Distribution Centers in Davao, in Tuguegarao, in Leyte and in all other regions.

So, that’s it for the update in so far as the Pantawid Pasada Program is concerned.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Sir, good morning, sir. Chairman, sir, so iyong card could be used as an ATM card na puwedeng ipang-withdraw sa cash?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  It’s like this.  In so far as what we have discussed with Landbank is concerned. It is a specially device card, for which it is for fuel purchases only, okay. We have advised the PUJ operators that they are to go to the participating gas outlets with POS facilities. Kasi po doon nila gagawin iyong pagsa-swipe ng card na iyan doon sa mga gas stations.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, hindi ito ma-withdraw as cash. Halimbawa kung ako iyong operator o iyong driver na gustong i-withdraw iyong—using that FOS, iyong sa—kung saan puwedeng gamitin iyong card. Hindi ko puwedeng i-withdraw as cash, kung hindi diesel lang talaga or gasoline iyong ilalabas?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  We have to use that in the gasoline stations in so far as the card is concerned.  This is how it is. In so far as the features of the Pantawid Pasada Program is concerned as mentioned  earlier, the card itself will tell us that it is for fuel purchases only and  that it is specific to the holder.

Pangalawa as mentioned earlier, when they get the card, they will have to sign the deed of undertaking. The deed of undertaking specifies two things that they are to commit, that they are to use that for the purpose for which the law intended, which is to purchase fuel for their vehicle only. And if they do so, for any other purpose, the possibility is that two things.  Either they got blacklisted or that they will ask to refund the money. So, that’s basically what we are telling them.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Iyon, sir eh, parang his word or your word iyong commitment. How could you possibly monitor, lalo na sa mga probinsya na iyon nga ay ginamit sa fuel purposes only.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  Actually, we are getting report from Landbank itself on a regular basis that there are a few violations made by the operator and that’s precisely what we are telling the operators to be consistent with the program.  Kasi para sa kanila naman ito at tulong ito para doon sa mga –sa PUJ in fact, ibig sabihin hindi po sa ibang modes of public transpo na binibigay ito.  So kinikilala ng gobyerno na the PUJ is one vulnerable sector that we need to help in so far as iyong pagbibiyahe nila is concerned. So, that’s the purpose of the law.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC 13:   Hi sir. Sir, have you decided what particular sanctions will you be imposing to those who actually misused the money fuel?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:   The sanctions are already stated in the deed of undertaking; so basically iyong dalawa po – blacklist and that they will be asked to refund.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC 13:  Sir, in particular, i-follow ko lang iyong sinabi ni Reymund kanina. How the government can actually monitor the use of it na hindi siya magagamit sa corruption, papano, sir. Papano ninyo mai-ensure na talagang hindi siya magagamit?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  I will just like to correct the word that used ‘no, corruption. Actually, there would be no corruption. There might be, I don’t know if the proper word would be misused but it would certainly not be corruption. But as I’ve said, Landbank would be able to monitor that on a regular basis. In fact, we are getting report on those things.

JINKY BARICADOS/IBC13:  Sorry sir, Landbank alone?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:    Because Landbank is the one that takes care of the account of these beneficiaries that are enrolled in the system.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB:  Sir, good morning. Sir, doon sa iyong tanong na may mga lumabag, were they informed na hindi ito puwedeng ipa-encash? Sometimes, iyon kasing information is that lalo na sa probinsya eh, when you give them an ATM Card, siyempre isa iyong thinking nila is to   get the money.      

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: They have been informed. In fact, as mentioned, the regional directors were directed to engage the public on what the program is all about and so that they would be able to inform the intended beneficiaries kung ano iyong programa na iyan.

Pangalawa, when they go to the card distribution centers, the beneficiaries are actually informed of the contents of the undertaking before they are to sign the undertaking. So alam nila iyong pinipirmahan nila na iyong undertaking na iyon.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB: Kasi most of them ay hindi naman nakatungtong din ng high school or college, iyon pong ibang driver.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: I would not think that most of them would not ‘no, because in the first place, for example, the fact that they were able to apply for a franchise and they went through the process of having to apply it, these are processes by which people of some level of intellectual maturity would have.

So ibig sabihin, I would like to think that most, if not all of them, would be able to understand in so far as the program is concerned and the responsibility that you have to assume when you are to benefit from this program.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB: Is 5,000 enough for them for this year?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: If you are going to ask me about it, I really would not have a personal opinion in so far as the amount is concerned. But that has been arrived at in so far as I was informed by the Department of Finance in computing as to how much it might cost or it might affect the PUJ sector when the TRAIN Law would come into effect.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB: As you were saying a while ago, next year po bale four times?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: As proposed po in the budget.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB: So that would be 20K for a year?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Yes po.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB: Five thousand per quarter?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Not necessarily. Just like what we did this year, the original idea was actually to spread it out for the rest of the year, when we started distributing it in July. But when we got guidance from Secretary Tugade, since it’s actually for fuel purchases anyway and they’re going to purchase it at anytime, might as well give it at one time. So that’s what happened.

So perhaps, that is also what’s going to happen next year, if ever. But we will still have to review as to what will happen this year so that we will be able to ensure a proper and effective implementation of the program for next year.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB: Okay, sir. What will happen kung halimbawa bumaba iyong fuel price sa market, iri-recall din ba ito o ipagpapatuloy pa rin po?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: I will have to defer that question to the Department of Finance because it’s actually a social mitigating measure under the TRAIN Law. So I would hope that I would also be getting guidance from them.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Good morning, sir. Sir, you have mentioned that they were several violations reported already. May we know how many and from what regions and what kind of violations? And mayroon na bang na-penalize for those violations?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: In terms of penalty po, we had the system—how do you put it?—suspended. Ibig sabihin, hindi na magamit.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: So how many were suspended?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: That I would not know yet as to the numbers, but there are only a few actually. I don’t have the numbers at the moment. But at the same time—yes, you are about to say something?

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Saan po rampant, saang area, saang region?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: There were a few in Metro Manila and in Region XI.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: You cannot give any figure, like estimate?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: I could not give any figure for now. It was just reported to me in so far as the figures are concerned.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Sir, these cards are being given to the operators?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: There was one unique situation, perhaps, that I can share you with. That the operator was actually trying to use the card at a gas station. But apparently, the gas station did not have any POS facility as we would have wanted to and in consistent with the program. So what he did was, he withdrew money and then went to the gas station, and then got the receipt and showed it to us. So basically, nagamit din for fuel purchases.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: So it’s not a violation?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: That’s what I’m saying na… obviously, we want to stick to the program in terms of having to run it the way it should ‘no, technology-wise ‘no. But they still went through the process of having to use the money for fuel purchases.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: But it’s not a violation?

CHAIRMAN DELGRAS: Well, because it was for fuel purchases.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Sir, you have mentioned that these cards were being given to the operators. There are operators na maraming dyip and they have their own drivers. So how could be sure that the drivers would get the share of that? Kasi ‘di ba ang mga drivers sila iyong naglalagay ng gasoline o diesel doon sa jeepney. So paano po iyon?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Okay. I’d like to answer that on two perspectives. Iyong prangkisa covering PUJs po is almost one is to one – one unit, one franchise. So most of them are actually… most operators are actually the one driving. That is our thinking ‘no, kasi nga one is to one.

Iyong sinasabi ninyong situation na kung saan iyong isang operator has more than one unit, eh siyempre he can only drive one unit at anytime and obviously he will have to rent out the other units to other drivers. He would have no use of that because that is also our instruction that they will have to give that to the drivers kasi that is for fuel purchases also. And that would actually be—when there is transaction at the gas station covering a particular card or a particular account, that would also register in the system so we would be able to know compliance of the use of the cards.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Pero, sir, one card per unit. Pero like for instance, iyong card na iyon, iyong operator mayroong tatlong units, he could use that card. Naka-indicate ba doon kapag nag-purchase na pati iyong plate number ng sasakyan eh nandoon iyong gumamit?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Opo. So ibig sabihin kapag gagamitin mo iyong card, sa isang driver for example, gamit niya iyong sasakyan niya, pagpunta niya doon sa gas station kailangan iyong plate number na nasa card should match the plate number of the vehicle that he was driving at that time. Those are among features of ensuring compliance.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, sa budget lang. For next year, can I get the exact figure kasi you said four times as much?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: The figures as proposed actually is—can we have the … let me see. For a while ha. It’s 20,514 pesos per unit.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Fourteen?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Fourteen, 1-4. But then again, but don’t be fixated on the amount per unit. Kasi nga, the number of units under franchise changes from time to time.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: [off mic]

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Kasi mayroong mga prangkisa na nag-e-expire at saka hindi na nagre-renew, may nadadagdag, iyong mga ganoon. So ito po, estimate lang ito. So that’s why I was saying earlier na iyong the proposed  budget for next year would be more or less four times as much as this year. But as to the exact figure, I would rather not entertain the thought na kailangan mayroong exact figure per unit.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay, sir.  But let’s work with that 20,514, right?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Yes, sir.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Divided by 365 days, that would be 56 pesos, sir, na subsidy daily?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Well, if that is the computation that would arrive at.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So you think it’s enough, sir, for a jeepney driver to have 56 pesos or is the idea is pandagdag lang talaga so hindi siya iyong—

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  Ganoon nga talaga iyong idea, iyong it’s really a fuel subsidy.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Hindi iyong pangsagot sa problema na—

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Opo, opo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir—okay. ‘Cause yesterday we had a report po. Kasama noong isa naming reporter ‘yung isang driver and ang common problem I think is that iyong mga gasoline stations would not have the POS. So they went to maybe three, and then doon sa fourth pa lamang na gas station, nagkaroon ng POS. So first, what do we do with that kind of situation?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  We have—at first, we got that report also ‘no—much earlier actually; and that we have talked to DOE and having to address that. We understand that—I don’t have the numbers that was given to me by DOE, but not all gas stations – participating or non-participating for that matter in the program – have POS facilities. But we have requested DOE na kung puwede iyong magpa-participate na mga gas stations ay mayroong iyong mga POS facilities, precisely to make it easy on the part of the beneficiaries to avail of the program.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir talk to the drivers, kung ganiyan na mayroon silang difficulty, what can they do?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  We will have—at the moment, I will have to review the ano ‘no… with DOE in so far as those concerns, specific concerns ‘no. But right now, we’re actually saying that you need to go to the participating gas stations; there are about, if I’m not mistaken… about close to two thousand ‘no. I’m sorry, but I don’t have the figure on the participating gas stations.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  [off mic]

CHAIR DELGRA III:  More than one thousand more or less. We were talking about Petron. Chevron, Shell, Phoenix, Unioil ‘no, Sea Oil… So they are spread all over the country actually.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay. Sir so right now, wala talagang choice iyong mga jeepney drivers kung walang POS lipat tayo ‘no?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Opo…

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay. So sir, puwede ba iyong kanina na situation na sinabi ninyo na—

CHAIR DELGRA III:  We took exception to it actually.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay. So puwede sir na mag-withdraw using the Landbank account, and then where do they show the receipt that has been used for fuel purchase? Halimbawa sir, ako iyong driver ‘no, walang POS—

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Because you can actually use the entire amount for a fuel purchase. You can also use the same in part. What I’m saying is that, if you’re going to buy fuel for X amount, you can probably use the card for lesser that X amount.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Yes, sir. Ang situation po sir is, walang POS na available…

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Yeah I know, I know…

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And then now, kailangan na niyang bumiyahe, madaling araw or ganoon… walang POS iyong malapit na gas station sa kaniya. Can he withdraw money from an ATM and then use that money to purchase the subsidy?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Actually I cannot say that for—because that will be inconsistent with the program. But what I’m just saying earlier is that, we took exception to it in so far as that situation is concerned.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  But as a general rule, huwag pong gamitin to withdraw?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Yes, yes… that’s basically what we’re saying. Let’s try to be consistent with the mechanics of the program. But, let’s not lose the spirit of it – which is actually tulong na rin doon sa mga PUJ operators.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Yeah. But for the meantime, you will not encourage iyong mga drivers to use the money to withdraw and then…

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Because the propensity to use it for other things is there ‘no.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay, I get it sir. Sir, you mentioned only 79,000 units right?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  179,000—

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And of this number—

CHAIR DELGRA III:  At the start its 179,852 as mentioned there. It’s now down to… close—still about 179 but lower than the number that we have projected earlier.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Ano iyon sir na lower than? Iyong mga nagkuha na?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  No, no… I’m talking about the units. I’m not talking about the beneficiaries na kumuha na. I’m talking about the units, kasi nga iyong iba doon, as I’ve said, nag-expire o kaya hindi na nag-renew… iyong mga ganoon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Pero sir, iyon pong mga… Sir, doon sa 179 na intended beneficiaries, since you opened iyong pagki-claim, how many have claimed?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Which one is that?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  How many po from the 179 na units na targeted beneficiaries have availed of the Pantawid Pasada Program.

CHAIR DELGRA III:  We actually have started with the regional distribution yesterday. We’re getting the numbers… as of last night, close to 2,000 already on the other regions. But hopefully, we’ll be able to get the operators to go to the distribution centers so that they’d be able to avail of the cards. By the way, we started with the distribution center yesterday and it will continue until we will be able to give out the last cards.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Deadline sir para doon mga kababayan natin na mag-a-avail?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Ang deadline na binigay namin sa sarili namin, is actually that we will be able to distribute everything or all of it on or before the end of September. So nananawagan kami doon sa mga operators na pumunta na doon sa mga regional distribution centers sa kanilang mga lugar so that they would be able to get the cards and avail of the benefit.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Hi, sir. Sir, the subsidies are also applicable to jeepneys who have converted to CNG or—LNG or CNG?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  It’s applicable to all, except of course e-jeep. Actually mayroon tayong prangkisa na e-jeep ha. Even before we assumed offices, mayroon nang mga e-jeep tumatakbo rito sa Metro Manila; konti nga lang, but we were actually encouraging it because it’s very environment-friendly, zero emis—ano…

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Pero sir iyong mga jeepneys na nag-convert na to natural gas, applicable pa rin po ba sa kanila iyon?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Opo. So long as you buy. Kasi iyong fuel naman… although most of the PUJs are using diesel, but some of them are also into gasoline. So anything that require the purchase of fuel for their unit, would fall under this program.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Thank you, sir.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  Sir, quick follow up kay Pia. Paano iyong mga multicab, sir, sa mga probinsiya ‘di ba mas maraming ganoon?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Actually konti lang ang numbers ng multicab.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  Kasama sila or hindi?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  PUJ kasi nakalagay eh, but—

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  So, hindi?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  Opo…

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  Okay. Tapos sir anong reason noong five regions, bakit sila na-late sa distribution ng card?

CHAIR DELGRA III:  It’s just a matter of the—iyong sa card production po, because it takes some time to produce the cards. By the way iyong card production would start with the submission of the list by LTFRB to Landbank; and Landbank to verify it. It takes a while for Landbank to verify each and every cards—each and every account before they will mass produce the cards in each region.

And by the way, kasi iyong pag—when they produce the cards, they will already have to put that or assign that to the bank where the distribution will take place. So even if—for example in the case of Region IV, there might be several card distribution centers all across the region and they will enroll that… the cards will be enrolled in the Landbank where the cards will be distributed. And that’s a little bit more focused, kasi nga especially sa MIMAROPA, where there are a number of island provinces that you have to deal with.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER:  Sir, iyong mga hindi sumusunod, like iyong mga na-blacklist na, tapos or ire-refund, will the government file charges din sa kanila?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: We will take it from there po. We have not made any decision yet.

CHRISTINA/PHIL STAR:  Yes, Chairman. In addition po doon sa nabanggit ninyo po, regarding iyong sa card production po, iyong Landbank po ba magdagdag po ba sila ng additional security  features per  card, para po in the future ma-ensure talaga na hindi na ito magagamit para makapag-withdraw ng pera sa ATMs except  for  sa activation lang po talaga.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:   That is also being considered po, tama po kayo.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB:  Sir, why ATM card, not fleet card. Most of the companies right now are using fleet cards.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  Opo, then we would be more focused on the company that owns the card. Kasi po ito iyong Pantawid Pasada as you can see in the list is participated in by several oil companies. The fleet is actually specific to the oil companies.   

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB:  But did you consider that?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:   We discussed about it, but it was a restriction on the part of having to effectively implement the program.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, magkano sa budget natin next year ang allotted for the Pantawid Pasada Program?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  You can probably make your own computation on four times as much as this year.  So, there are about.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  20×179 (off mic)

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  Yes. Or 977 million times there are about four. Kasi po iyong budget for this year is 977 million.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  For the Pantawid Pasada Program alone.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  But as I’ve said, nothing is final until Congress approves the budget ha – I have to make that statement. That is just being proposed for now.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, I asked about the budget, because Senator Grace Poe was interviewed last Monday and she said that magiging mahigpit daw po ang senado pagdating sa pagbusisi ng budget particularly sa PUV modernization and Pantawid Pasada. She came from an event led by Piston and No to Jeepney Phase-out Coalition. And marami pong mga jeepney drivers, actually lahat sila nagsabing hindi sila nakakatanggap   ng fuel vouchers. So, sabi ni Senator Poe, kailangang madepensahan maigi ng LTFRB ang budget, ang laki ng budget natin vis-à-vis iyong mga reklamo ng jeepney drivers and operators.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  Okay, first of all, this budget is not actually coming from the budget of LTFRB or DOTr. As mentioned, this is the budget coming out from the TRAIN Law. And the fund was downloaded to DOTr and eventually to LTFRB as the implementing agency for this particular program.

Second, in so far as the distribution of the card is concerned.  I’d like to make mention again that the card distribution is actually ongoing in so far as NCR is concerned, at the Central Office of the LTO, sa East Avenue, Quezon City.

Even that as we have mentioned earlier, we are going to identify key card distribution centers all across Metro Manila, for easy access to the PUJ operators – kung saan puwedeng makakuha sila ng card. We are thinking of  iyong mga high-volume routes or where PUJ ply so that we will identify places na good enough to accommodate  large number of people and near an ATM. Kasi iyon iyong requirement ng Landbank, para lang pagkatapos na matanggap iyong pera, ma-activate na nila  iyong  account.

So, we are looking to planning and putting in place a scheme by which we will be able to multiply the number of card distribution centers in Metro Manila.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  So, sir accidental lang iyong sinasabi ng mga drivers and operators from Piston and No to Jeepney Phase-out Coalition na walang ni isa sa kanila ang nakakatanggap nito.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  That I would not know; hindi naman po. I would like to disabused the mind especially of the PUJ operators, na iyong mga nasa listahan lang po ang makakatanggap, because that is being consistent with the law. The law says that qualified, legitimate franchise holders. So, kung ano po ang nandoon, as mentioned, they are about mga 179,000 PUJs all over the country, sila po iyong makakatanggap. So, it does not matter kung saan ka, anong affiliation mo. So long as you are a legitimate PUJ franchise holder – iyon lang po ang qualification of a beneficiary under this program.

So again, inuulit ko na kung sino pa iyong hindi nakakatanggap, punta lang po  kayo sa Central office ng LTO – East Avenue, Quezon City and  for the regional distribution centers, please call your regional offices of the LTFRB where you are located for  further  information.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, doon sa PUV  modernization program ng government,  sinabi rin po ni  Senator Poe na masyado maliit  daw po iyong 80,000 pesos na down payment na ibibigay ng government, para sa at least more than 1 million peso  worth na bagong unit ng jeep, malulubog daw po sa utang at interes ang mga driver. Puwede daw po bang taasan iyong halaga na binibigay na down payment?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:   In so far as the amount is concerned, it’s actually Congress who approves of the amount that we will give to subsidize, because this is actually an equity subsidy under the PUV Modernization Program and we welcome that very much in so far as having to even help and assist our PUJ sector.

In fact—by the way, under the PUVMP, the financial component of the program addresses only the PUJ sector. Wala po tayo sa ibang modes of public transpo. Kaya  kung ano pang tulong na puwede  nating ibigay, ibigay natin and in so far as what Senator Poe has said, we welcome that very much and we welcome the support of Congress kung ano pang dagdag tulong na puwede nating maibigay under the PUVMP.

What I would  just like to say, that we have been saying this all along  under the Department of Transportation and the LTFRB and even of the President no less, na itutuloy natin itong modernization program na ito. Matagal na po nating inaasam-asam, matagal na po nating hinihintay ito para sa ating mga mananakay – milyun-milyon na mananakay po. So, whatever help that we can give to them, so that we will be able to address this and succeed in fully implementing this modernization program na matagal na matagal na nating hinihintay.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS:  Sir, just a clarification again doon sa earlier question ni Joseph, about you discouraging the use or the withdrawal, kumbaga parang reimbursement right? The withdrawal from the card and then used it to purchase.  I mean, some jeepney operators who maybe listening now might say, pero you took exception to one case. So why can’t we do it, is it going to be a strict no na lang talaga. Kasi if you say discouraged, it’s not strictly ‘no’.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  We will just take it on a case to case basis, kasi mahirap naman na —

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: What is it really, is it a ‘no’? They can’t, they cannot do that again. You will not tolerate, you will not take exception?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  We would like to be consistent with the mechanics of the program to ensure effective implementation. Iyon lang ang puwede nating sabihin, na para you would be able to ensure it.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: So, bawal po nila gawin iyon.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: We just want to be consistent with the implementation. Kasi nga nakalagay doon sa undertaking nila and the deed on undertaking that they have signed says that they are to commit the use of the card for fuel purchases only.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS:  So, puwede. If they give the receipt, they used it.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA:  No, fuel purchases only.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL:  If they have receipts to prove that they did buy it, use the money for fuel, technically, it’s a fuel purchase?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: That’s precisely what we’re saying na in so far as having to use the money for that purpose, puwede po iyong ganoon ano. Pero the way we look at it kasi, pagdating sa withdrawal, withdrawal ha sa Landbank, mapa-flag iyan eh. If you’re going to use it not from a facility of a participating gas station, mapa-flag ng Landbank.

What I’m saying is that—there are exceptions, yes. But let it not be said na iyong exceptions ay magiging general rule. That’s just what I am saying. So kaya nga ang sinasabi natin dito na iyong consistency… ang implementation ng batas is that if you are going to go the participating gas station, use the POS facility, makikita ng system ng Landbank iyan that there was proper compliance or use of the card.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL:  Sir, sorry ha. But if they have a receipt to show that they used it to buy fuel and then they give it to LTFRB, puwede ba iyon?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: That’s precisely why we were saying we take exception to that.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL:  So puwede?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Opo. Ano po?

Q: [OFF MIC]

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: If they can do that, that’s what precisely why I’m saying that we are going to take exception to it because it is still consistent with the spirit of the law.

But in terms of monitoring the use of the card, it goes against the beneficiary. Iyon ang sinasabi ko.

Q: [OFF MIC]

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Oo, kasi nga mapa-flag sila doon sa system eh.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL:  If they insist on doing that, it might risk them losing their cards?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, we’re trying to help you ha, sorry. No, kasi parang we’re coming from the perspective of … hindi naman nila fault na walang mga POS iyong mga gas stations. Taking off again from Ina’s point of view, ang point na that you’re trying to make is that you can do it at your own risk, tama ba? Na parang puwede ka, pero mahabang proseso iyan, makikita iyan ng Landbank and then idya-justify mo pa kung bakit hindi ka nakaganoon. Tama? Can we just get a sound bite on the policy on the withdrawal, sir?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: The use of the card has to be consistent with the program. And they way to monitor the program is that, you are to use that in the participating gas stations for buying fuel. As mentioned in the law, it is for fuel purchases only. So that’s basically what it is, for proper monitoring.

In occasions as you said na mayroong walang POS, that’s the one we are trying to work out with DOE or the Department of Energy, in so far as participating gas stations are concerned. So, if ever, I’m looking at Joseph now—no, no, because as I’ve said, mahihirap kasi when they’re going to commit for the use of the card to use it as fuel purchases, and then they’re going to use it for some other purpose by going to an ATM and have it withdrawn.

Q: [OFF MIC]

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: That would be a flag in the system in so far as the Landbank is concerned, and they will report it to us. So it might be good that for them, kung talagang ginamit nila iyan, they probably have to show proof na ginamit nila for fuel purchases.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So kumbaga they can, but medyo kumplikado ‘no?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Precisely, the process might take a little longer for them to prove otherwise because they themselves committed to use the card the way it should.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Meaning, risky?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: I’m sorry?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Risky on their part?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: I don’t want to use the word “risk”. But we just want to be consistent with the how we’re going to implement the program.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. Maybe related topic: When do you solve that problem of gas stations not having POS? Kasi parang you’re going to implement this—I don’t think the distribution is the problem, but iyong pagkuha ng benepisyo. Iyon ang medyo problema. Didn’t you prepare for the number of gas stations that would need the POS?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Actually, one of the things that we have discussed with DOE during the technical working group meetings that we had was precisely to address this issue, iyong  may mga POS facility because the card is to be used using the POS facility of the gas stations. So iyon ang gusto nating klaruhin sa Department of Energy kung iyong mga participating gas stations ba ay may mga POS. As you said, mayroong mga gas stations na wala ‘no.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay, sir, so kung halimbawa naman gas station owner ako and kunyari mayroon akong POS but I don’t want it to be used for the Pantawid Pasada Program. That’s an illegal act, right? He denied a driver to use the Pantawid Pasada card in his gas station?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Because you are not a participating gas station. The premise of your question, because you are not a participating gas station.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: May ganoon kayo na in-allow na—

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Hindi, because if you are not, then iyong gas station na iyan can decline.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Bakit may pinayagan kayo, sir, na hindi sumama if you want to help drivers?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: No. Actually, we’re inviting as many. Through the Department of Energy, we’re inviting as many gas stations to participate para mas malawak iyong options ng mga PUJ operators.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kasi, sir, iyong sa data ninyo, one, two, three lang na gas stations nationwide na puwede for the Pantawid, right? Tatlo lang iyon, sir – Shell, Petron and Phoenix. All the others, iyong halimbawa Caltex iyong gas niya—

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: I’d just like to, again, correct the impression: Hindi natin pinagbabawal, in fact, we’re inviting more gas stations to participate in the program.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Bakit hindi na lang mandatory, sir, na all gas stations in the Philippines would have to honor the Pantawid Pasada Program?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: We’ll have to take it up with DOE regarding that kasi—we did discuss that with the DOE, together with the association of oil companies ‘no. So siguro we will have to get back to them. Salamat po.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, last. One seventy-nine franchise holders ‘no. So one is to what – 179 franchises.

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: More or less. It’s actually—if you really be detailed about it, it’s 1.3 units per franchise.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, ilan iyong mga colorum?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: Obviously, walang mga colorum doon sa listahan.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: I mean, from our streets?

CHAIRMAN DELGRA: We would not have a number as regard to that.

MODERATOR: Okay, maraming salamat, MPC. Maraming salamat, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra.

##

Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)

 

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