The Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) announced on Wednesday that it had started releasing cash grants of P6,500 each to 110,359 public utility vehicle (PUV) operators.
In a statement, the state-owned lender said the cash grants totaling P717.33 million were disbursed to jeepney and bus operators nationwide under the Cash Subsidy to PUV Operators Program of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Of the total amount, P716.82 million was credited to the existing Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) fuel cash card accounts of 110,281 public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators on Nov. 16, 2020.
The remaining P507,000 was credited to the LandBank accounts of 78 public utility bus (PUB) operators on November 17, this year.
“LandBank, in partnership with the DoTr and LTFRB, made it possible to quickly and safely distribute the cash subsidies to jeepney and bus operators who are challenged by the pandemic. We will continuously work with the transportation department to distribute the remaining cash aid to other beneficiaries the soonest time possible,” Cecilia Borromeo, LandBank president and chief executive officer, said in the statement.
The crediting of cash grants forms part of the memorandum of agreement signed between LandBank, DoTr and LTFRB on Oct. 12, 2020 for the distribution of one-time cash assistance to 178,244 PUV operators through the PPP fuel cash cards, existing LandBank accounts, other bank accounts via InstaPay or PESONet, and over-the-counter payouts.
According to the bank, total beneficiaries of the cash subsidy program include operators of 120,000 PUJs, 24,374 UV Express units, 21,998 PUBs, 10,188 Filcabs, 1,259 minibuses, and 425 premium point-to-point buses who have been heavily affected with the suspension in public transportation operations and reduced ridership due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) safety protocols.
“The funds allocated for the program are part of the budget provided to the DoTr under Republic Act 11494, or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2),” LandBank said.