Philippines

Use Malampaya fund to expand ‘Pantawid Pasada’ program: solon

Use Malampaya fund to expand ‘Pantawid Pasada’ program: solon
By Filane Mikee Cervantes

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — A partylist lawmaker has filed a resolution allowing President Rodrigo R. Duterte to use the Malampaya fund to establish the Philippines Strategic Fuel Reserves (PSFR) and implement an expanded Pantawid Pasada cash grants program.

In House Resolution 1936, 1-PACMAN Partylist Rep. Michael Romero said the Department of Energy (DOE), using the Malampaya fund, could implement an expanded Pantawid Pasada program to cover not just public utility jeepneys and buses, but to include transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units, commuter taxis, and freight forwarding cargo trucks.

The resolution also urges Duterte to issue an executive order for the creation of the PSFR, which shall be operated by the DOE, Philippine National Oil Company, and Department of Finance.

“A national strategic fuel reserve has been an option the Department of Energy has had on its shelves to address energy crises,” Romero said in his resolution.

Romero said the Malampaya fund has a reported balance of PHP198.567 billion. The Malampaya fund was established by virtue of Presidential Decree 910 on March 22, 1976. It has been used to cushion the impact fuel price hikes on the Filipino people.

Furthermore, Romero said the Energy Regulatory Commission can direct the oil firms operating in the Philippines to maintain their own fuel reserves at levels sufficient to meet 45 days to 60 days of daily consumer demand.

Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law, the government shall implement the Pantawid Pasada program or a social assistance project for commuters and public transport, and the jeepney modernization program to ease the impact of the oil excise tax increases on commuters and the land transport sector. (PNA)

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