Sunday, February 5, 2012

PNoy Bares Plan to Cushion Impact of Fuel-Price Hikes

Philippine President Noynoy Aquino yesterday bared plans of his administration to help the transport sector cope with the effect of the continuing fuel price increases, part of which is to work out a 30-day buffer supply of petroleum products. Aquino said he had asked for an update on the movement of fuel prices from the Department of Energy (DOE), adding that while there were recent increases in prices these adjustments were minimal compared to last year prices.

"Yung sinisigurado natin na mayroon tayong nasa 24 days (buffer stock), kung hindi ako nagkakamali. We're targeting that instead of just 24 and a half days there is a 30- day buffer supply. That's number one," the President told reporters. The government is also continuing the Pantawid Pasada program that helps the transport sector cope with the increases in fuel prices.

"Ang Pantawid Pasada program, there's still an allocation of roughly something like about P200 million plus remaining balance. In short, we don't need a new funding for it. Puwede pa nating gamitin yung dati para ma- service yung roughly about 60 percent," he said. The government can still provide two cycles of Pantawid Pasada without increasing the funding, the President said. The government has enough money after the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) reviewed the list of legitimate franchised holders who are entitled for government support.

He said his administration was also working out to create a mechanism that could directly link drivers and transport operators to manufacturers and suppliers so they could get cheaper materials and spare parts for their vehicles."Maraming schemes pero yung pinaka-workable, kakausapin natin yung mga manufacturers, magbubukas ng mga factory outlets diretso na sa kanila, bawas yung profit ng middleman, para mabawasan yung gastos nila sa kanilang mga pagpapatakbo ng mga sasakyan," he said.

There are also loans available to transport cooperatives planning to set up their own gasoline stations. The President said the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Philippine National Bank (PNB) could give up to P10 million per gasoline station. Aquino also issued a warning again steering bus operators to abide by the law.