Government authorities are keeping close watch on jeepney drivers who might abuse their Pantawid Pasada fuel subsidy by using the Landbank of the Philippines debit card worth P5,000 in purchasing basic commodities, particularly grocery items.
The subsidy was meant to help jeepney drivers and operators cope with the high fuel price due partly to the implementation of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion law that raised the excise tax on petroleum products. This and last week’s approval of a P1 increase in minimum jeepney fare also hope to ease the burden of the transport sector due to high cost of food.
The use of the card is allowed only in gas stations and not in supermarkets. Landbank president Alex Buenaventura warned that once the card is used in buying groceries, the user is automatically delisted from the fuel subsidy program.
But who could stop a jeepney driver from buying P5,000 worth of groceries in just one visit to a supermarket?