The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday said 617,806 tricycle drivers nationwide would be given cash subsidies for fuel amid skyrocketing oil prices.

In a statement, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the subsidy would be disbursed under the Pantawid Pasada Program for tricycle drivers.

“Inaasahan namin na sa pamamagitan ng fuel subsidy na ito, maiibsan kahit paano ang paghihirap ng mga tricycle drivers dulot ng sunod-sunod na pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo at paghina ng biyahe dahil sa Covid-19 pandemic,” Año said.

A total of 766,590 tricycle drivers applied for the fuel subsidy. Nearly 150,000 applications were junked due to the lack of means of verification such as driver’s license numbers and incomplete e-wallet information.

Año said the subsidy would be distributed in three tranches: the first batch will be for the 539,395 drivers who had provided their e-wallet accounts; the second will be for the 73,233 drivers who will avail of the grants over-the-counter at a Land Bank of the Philippines branch; and the third will be for the 5,178 drivers who will avail of on-site payout at local government units.

“Lahat ng nasa masterlist ng qualified tricycle drivers ay makakatanggap ng fuel subsidy. Hintayin na lang po natin ang abiso ng LTFRB para sa mga detalye at karagdagang impormasyon,” Año said.

The breakdown of subsidy-eligible tricycle drivers is as follows: 67,536 from Region 1; 31,638 from Region 2; 83,621 from Region 3; 162,500 from Calabarzon; 30,340 from Mimaropa; 35,339 from Region 5; 59,280 from Region 6; 11,685 from Region 7; 6,448 from Region 8; 9,869 from Region 9; 8,760 from Region 10; 8,793 from Region 11; 21,685 from Region 12; 6,869 from Caraga; 68,165 from Metro Manila; 5,040 from CAR; and 238 from BARMM.

On Tuesday, oil prices increased by P0.50 per liter of gasoline and P1.65 per liter of diesel. John Ezekiel J. Hirro