Home » 3PL/4PL, Aviation, Breaking News, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » DOTr: P2.6B in Bayanihan 2 fund to help transport firms

Department of Transportation assistant secretary for legal affairs Steve Pastor during a Lower House Committee on Transportation hearing on September 1 on the transport department’s plans for its budget under Bayanihan 2 bill

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will use its P9.5-billion budget under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, also known as Bayanihan 2 bill, to subsidize airlines and waive some port charges for roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) operators and shippers.

Part of the budget will also go to building of bike lanes in Metro Manila.

The department plans to distribute its budget among three major activities: P2.6 billion for assisting critically impacted businesses, P5.6 billion for service contracting, and P1.3 billion for the establishment of 644 kilometers bicycle lanes in Metro Manila, said undersecretary for finance Garry De Guzman, in a Lower House Committee on Transportation hearing on September 1.

READ: House OKs on third reading P162B Bayanihan 2 stimulus package

The P2.6 billion for critically impacted businesses is to be further subdivided among the aviation, maritime, and road sectors. Part of this budget will be used to subsidize airlines, which are “critically impacted during the pandemic,” in the form of waiving their airport fees and charges, De Guzman said.

Specifically, the budget will be utilized to pay the airport authorities “so that the airport authorities will not lose revenue because they need also to maintain their facilities,” he added.

Airport authorities such as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Manila International Airport Authority, and Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority have implemented their own deferment on the collection of their landing/take-off and parking fees for domestic and international flights to help the badly hit aviation industry.

The Air Carriers Association of the Philippines—comprised of AirAsia Philippines, Cebu Pacific, Cebgo, Philippine Airlines, and PAL Express—has also appealed for government support through long term credit facility, working capital credit lines, credit guarantee arrangements, and temporary relief from navigational and airport charges.

For the maritime sector, a portion of the Bayanihan 2 budget will be allocated to pay the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), which plans “to waive some of the charges for our Ro-Ro operators, shippers,” De Guzman said.

PPA has been implementing a reduction/waiver of port fees and charges specifically for locally stranded individuals that are beneficiaries of the government’s Hatid Tulong Program, as well as for participating vehicles and Ro-Ro vessels.

For the road sector, the proposal is to use the budget for fuel subsidy and/or cash grant, particularly to public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators and drivers.

As for service contracting, the P5.6 billion allocation will be used to pay PUJs for providing services based on the plan prepared by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and agreed upon by operators.

“The driver will be paid with an agreed amount per vehicle kilometer travel during a specified period and at the same time retain all revenues from the fare collection,” according to DOTr assistant secretary for legal affairs Steve Pastor.

The remaining P1.3 billion will be allocated for the creation of a bike lane network in Metro Manila.

The P9.5-billion budget of DOTr is part of the P165.5-billion budget under the Bayanihan 2 bill, which was recently ratified by both houses of Congress and was transmitted to Malacañang on August 27 for signing into law.

The bill, which aims to fast-track Philippine recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic fallout, provides for a P165.5-billion subsidy that consists of P140 billion in regular appropriations and P25.5 billion in standby funding.

Once passed into law, it will effectively extend the validity of the government’s COVID-19 programs and interventions under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. The Bayanihan Act lapsed last June 5.

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