Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Marcos seeks shorter trigger period for fuel subsidy release

Dwight de Leon

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Marcos seeks shorter trigger period for fuel subsidy release

Motorists fill up their tanks at a gas station in Paco, Manila, after some oil companies announce a P3.05 reduction in prices of each liter of gasoline, P2.45 for diesel and P3.00 for kerosene, on October 10, 2023.


President Marcos wants to amend the budget bill provision on fuel subsidy 'in order to shorten the trigger period from three months to one month,' says Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants to expedite and simplify the release of fuel subsidy to public utility vehicle (PUV) operators, and has asked Congress to introduce the amendment in the proposed 2024 budget.

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael Lotilla said on Tuesday, October 24, that the President seeks to have the provision in the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA) reworded.

Under current rules, the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) fuel subsidy project takes effect when the average Dubai crude oil price for three months surpasses $80 per barrel.

“The President gave instructions on changing the language of the 2024 GAA provision on fuel subsidy for the transport sector in order to shorten the trigger period from three months to one month and simplify the release requirements,” Lotilla said in a Palace briefing.

“The guidelines will need only to be agreed upon by the DBM, Department of Transportation, and the DOE, and these can be released upon the finalization of the list of beneficiaries by the DOTr for those which have franchises, and then by the Department of the Interior and Local Government for those tricycle drivers, and by the Department of Trade and Industry for delivery service drivers,” he added.

The government began handing out P2.95 billion in fuel subsidies in September, the third straight month that crude oil price exceeded the $80-mark.

Around 1.36 million PUV operators bearing the brunt of oil price surges were the target beneficiaries of the program.

To mitigate oil price hikes, the government is also turning to the implementation of the voluntary 20% ethanol blend for gasoline by end of the year.

“We have a mandatory requirement of 10% blend of ethanol with gasoline,” Lotilla explained. “This is a price mitigation measure because ethanol, especially imported ethanol, is cheaper than the price of gasoline.”

Lotilla added that Marcos wants the government to continue working on the electrification of the transport sector, particularly mass transport and light cargo vehicles. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.