COA calls out LTFRB for using only 1% of P5.5-B budget for drivers’ assistance

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 13, 2021   •   548

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Audit (COA) has called out to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for using only 1% of the total budget for drivers’ assistance.

Based on COA’s 2020 report, the LTFRB only used around P59 million out of the P5.58 billion funds allotted for the Service Contracting Program.

“Delays in the implementation of the Service Contracting Program ranging from two  to 10 weeks as at December 31, 2020 resulted in the minimal fund utilization of only P59,720, 089 or 1.07%  of the total project fund, thereby delaying the intended benefits to the PUV drivers and operators,” the report said.

COA also reported that only 29,871 drivers or 49.79% of 60,000 targeted driver-participants were registered in the program as of the end of the year. With this, COA advised the LTFRB to review its guidelines and simplify the process for the implementation of the program  to maximize the use of the funds and the participation of beneficiaries. AAC

DOTr, DOLE sign MOA to provide livelihood assistance to transport workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday, October 12, signed a memorandum of agreement to provide livelihood assistance to  transport workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

The eTSUPERneur program is a long-term solution that provides transport workers with entrepreneurial-related training, business management orientation, business capital, and micro-insurance.

Participants who wish to join the program will be trained in various skillsets as they enter businesses related to food, mechanical and others. Each participant will receive an amount of P30,000 as one of the benefits.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the program can help workers in the transport sector earn an extra income, while providing service to the commuting public.

Nakapakalaking bagay para sa mga naghahanap-buhay sa pampublikong sasakyan na magkaroon ng karagdagang kaalaman upang mapabuti ang kanilang serbisyo, o hindi kaya ay magkaroon sila ng kakayahan sa pagnenegosyo at para sa iba pang pagkakakitaan para makabangon sa gitna ng pandemya (It is a big deal for transport workers to have additional knowledge to improve their service or have the capability to start a business as an alternative livelihood amid the pandemic),” he said. AAC

 

P3 dagdag-pasahe, hiling ng ilang transport groups dahil sa tumataas na presyo ng petrolyo

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Plano ngayon ng ilang transport group na maghain ng pormal na petisyon para sa hiling nilang dagdag-pasahe sa Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Ayon sa grupong Pasang Masda, tatlong piso sa unang tatlong kilometro ang hirit ng mga jeepney driver sa gitna na rin ng tumataas na presyo ng mga produktong petrolyo.

Kung maaaprubahan ay magiging P12 na ang minimum fare sa pampasaherong jeep mula sa kasalukuyang P9.

Tiniyak naman ni Obet Martin, ang pinuno ng grupong Pasang Masda, na agad nilang ibababa ang pamasahe kapag bumaba na rin ang halaga ng krudo.

“About 3 years ago or 4 years ago, nang bumaba ang presyo ng diesel na tig-29 pesos, immediately, kami rin ang grupo ay nagpunta ng LTFRB. Then, we filed our petition para i-rollback ang pamasahe. Nag-file kami at iyan din naman ang assurance natin sa ating mga kababayan. ‘Pag nag-normalize, ibabalik po natin doon sa dating pamasahe,” ani Martin.

Paliwanag ng Department of Energy (DOE), ang patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng petrolyo sa bansa ay epekto ng paggalawa ng pandaigdigang presyo.

Ayon kay DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau director Rino Abad, bunsod ito ng kakulangan sa supply at pagtaas ng demand sa langis dahil sa unti-unting pagbubukas ng ekonomiya at sa winter season sa ibang bansa.

“Itong nangyayaring pagkakakulangan ng ating crude oil supply on the global market ay ito’y inI-expect na aabot po ng hanggang katapusan ng taon at posible pong magkaroon na ng easing out, yung paghihinay-hinay ng kakulangan, on the first quarter of 2022,” ani Abad.

Sa panig naman ng LTFRB, sinabi ng executive director ng ahensiya na si Joel Bolano na pag-aaralan nila ang hiling ng mga tsuper na itaas ang pasahe upang maka-agapay sila sa kasalukuyang halaga ng petrolyo.

“Batay po doon sa mga increases ng atin pong petrolyo, based doon sa ating computation po kung babalikan po natin yung year-on-year na increase po ay at least mga 1.20 – hindi po lalagpas ng P1.26 more or less po,” ani Abad.

Payo naman ng DOE sa mga tsuper na magpakarga sa mga gasolinahan na nag-aalok ng promotions gaya ng discount at rebate na inilalaan dahil sa mataas na kumpetisyon.

Doctors group urges Duterte to reverse order barring Cabinet members from attending Senate hearing

Maris Federez   •   October 11, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — A group of doctors appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse his order barring  Cabinet members from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing on the alleged anomalous procurement of COVID-19 supplies.

The group wants the Senate hearing to continue the hearing, questioning why the Department of Health (DOH) transferred the said procurement to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

This, despite the earlier clarification made by the Commission on Audit that there was no overpricing in the procurement of COVID-19 supplies and that the said government transaction went through careful inspection.

“Kung bakit ipinasa ng Department of Health ang pagbili nung mga protective equipment na ito sa Department of Budget (and Management), sa DBM. ‘Yun pa lang hindi ma-explain, kase ang ipinapasa lang po talaga sa DBM ay yung mga administrative. ‘Yung mga may kinalaman sa administrative part which means yung mga office supplies, ang mga protective equipment, definitely this is a health. This should actually belong to the Department of Health,” said the group’s president, Dr. Maricar Limpin.

The group also defended the manner of questioning of some senators on the resource persons, saying that there was no bullying that was taking place during the hearing.

“Sa paningin ko yun ay part ng pagku-cross examine, at different personalities have different way of trying to get information. Whatever form na ginagawa nila in order to extract the truth, kase hindi siya maliit na pera. Forty-two billion. At napunta po iyong deal na iyan, yung kontrata, sa isang maliit na kumpanya,” Dr. Anthony Leachon, former president of PCP, said.

The group appeals to the Senate to finish the hearing on the said issue and forward the result of their investigation to the Department of Justice or the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the administration will no longer allow Cabinet members and other officials in the Executive Department to attend any succeeding Senate hearings.

“In fact, they appeared before 12 hearings of the Senate and the House and he only said itigil na iyan, after 12. Kasi wala namang bago pong tinatanong at walang bagong sagot,” Roque said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

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