Legitimate tricycle franchise owners in Valenzuela City started receiving cash aids from the Department of Energy (DOE) through the agency’s Public Transport Assistance Program (PTAP) which is commonly known as Pantawid Pasada fund.
The program is implemented in the city through the Valenzuela City Transportation Office’s (VCTO) Tricycle Regulatory Unit (TRU). Some 4,419 qualified members from 41 Tricycle Operators and Drivers Associations (TODA) in the city will receive an initial cash transfer of PhP 150 as beneficiaries.
The initiative requires beneficiaries to hold updated franchises for their units. VCTO Head Mr. Jay Valenzuela, however, said TODA members who registered with their office on April 27, 2011 and thereafter are excluded from the program.
The program was established through Executive Order 32 of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, with an initial allotment of PhP 450 million to assist jeepney and tricycle operators in the country amidst the escalating fuel prices. Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Valenzuela City Director Daisy Eslaban said her agency is in charge of helping the DOE to coordinate with the City Government for its immediate implementation.
Mr. Valenzuela and Director Eslaban gave assurance during the program’s launch at the Veinte Reales-Lingunan TODA terminal recently that it will be covering all the 32 barangays in the city.
On the other hand, the public is warned of individuals or groups posing as program agents. Mr. Valenzuela stressed that beneficiaries do not need not to pay any amount to avail of the program.
The DOE also advised the public to check if their plate numbers are listed in the Pantawid Pasada Program database by visiting its website at www.doe.gov.ph/ptap. Drivers or operators may also call: (02) 984-6381, or text the following: Globe: 0917-556-0759; 0917-480-3488, Smart: 0947-392-5378, and Sun: 0932 778-6494 for further inquiries.
According to a statement of the DOE, the program is “an interim measure of the government in cushioning public utility [vehicle] owners against oil price increases at a season when there is low ridership.” The DOE was referring to the summer season when students are on school break, thus affecting their income.
-Mark Lester Cayabyab (2011-07-05)