Multicab operators have bewailed their exclusion from the gasoline assistance fund under the national government’s Pantawid Pampasada program.
The multicab operators raised their sentiments during a Kapihan forum on the national government’s Pantawid Pampasada program in Dumaguete last week.
Pantawid Pampasada is intended to assist the transport group in line with the increasing prices of gasoline. However, the Pantawid Pampasada guidelines clearly states that only jeepneys and tricycle operators can avail of the program.
Jeepney operators will receive a yearly assistance of P1,050 through Pantawid Pampasada cards while tricycle operators will receive P150 cash assistance for every valid franchise.
One of the multi cab operators and a member of the Dumaguete Transport Cooperative, Jonathan Abequibel, Sr., said it is unfair that they were excluded in the Pantawid Pampasada program when they are also serving the public.
The multi-cab units are registered in the Land Transportation Office as filcab or multi-cab which does not qualify them under the category of public utility jeepneys.
Department of Energy’s Region 7 Director Antonio Labios promised on Thursday to relay to higher officials the sentiments of multi-cab operators in Negros Oriental.
According to Director Labios they also encountered the same sentiments with multi-cab operators during a public forum in Cebu. He admitted that some members of the transport sectors were not considered in the Pantawid Pampasada program, especially in the provinces.
He is hoping that the concerns of the multi-cab operators will be considered as part of the bracket of the public utility jeepneys.
Director Labios clarified that he understands the sentiments of the multi- cab operators considering that majority of the units run on gasoline.
The Pantawid Pampasada program will be effective until year 2016. (PNA) jfp/Maricar Aranas