The government on Thursday vowed quick response and already set aside a total P3 billion in resources to cushion the vulnerable sectors in the event the price of oil goes beyond an assumed average.
The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee or DBCC said the government is closely monitoring domestic and global events for when it becomes necessary to implement a fuel subsidy program as oil prices persist beyond the $83.3 per barrel average projected this year.
Crude oil spot price in the global market already average $83.92 per barrel thus far on Thursday.
“Given recent developments, the government remains ready to provide targeted relief assistance and support to address the impact of the oil price hike for affected sectors, especially public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, farmers, and fisherfolk,” the DBCC said.
At the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the monetary authorities said the average price of crude oil is seen slowing to $79 per barrel by the end of the year based on latest oil futures contracts.
The DBCC said P2.5 billion has been set aside to underwrite the subsidy program to be implemented by the Department of Transportation as subsidy for some 377,000 qualified PUV drivers of jeepneys, UV Express, taxis, tricycles and other full-time ride-hailing and delivery services providers.
This is separate from another P500 million under the Department of Agriculture as fuel discounts to farmers and fisherfolk who either individually own and operate agricultural and fishery machinery or through a farmers organization or cooperative.
“This will help mitigate the impact of elevated fuel prices on production and transport costs of farm and fishery products,” the DBCC said.