SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Thursday calls for an investigation into the slow implementation of the Land Transportation and Franchising Board’s (LTFRB) Service Contracting Program for displaced transport workers as reported by the Commission on Audit (COA).
“Noong Mayo pa lang nanawagan na tayong bilisan ang paggamit sa pondong ito. Ngayong na-expire na ang Bayanihan II, kapiraso pa rin ng pondo ang ginagastos para sa mga drayber na nawalan ng pagkakakitaan,” Pangilinan said.
Proposed Senate Resolution 861 shall direct the appropriate Senate Committee to look into the 1.07 percent utilization of the total P5.58 billion budget of LTFRB for their Service Contracting Program intended as a temporary livelihood for public utility vehicle drivers.
In its 2020 report, COA flagged the LTFRB for the delays in implementing the said program.
The audit commission also reported that only 49.79 percent or a total of 29,871 drivers of the 60,000 targeted driver-participants were registered in the program at the end of 2020.
According to the transport coalition Move As One, there are at least 2.7 million land transport workers whose jobs have been at risk since the start of the pandemic. More than half of the workers are drivers, conductors, and freight handlers.
“Nasa emergency mode tayo at kailangan mabilis kumilos. Hindi ito katanggap-tanggap habang may mga jeepney drivers pa ring hikahos at walang mapantustos sa pamilya,” he added.
Yesterday, the LTFRB issued a statement that a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the transport agency and the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) was signed only in December 2020, which governs the distribution of cash subsidies to eligible beneficiaries.
LTFRB said that the 1 percent utilization rate only covers the implementation month of December 2020.
The transport agency further clarified that as of June 30, 2021, P1.5 billion was released to the beneficiary drivers and for the procurement of the systems manager.
“Bilyun-bilyon pondo ang nilaan, bilyun-bilyon ang dapat sana napakinabangan, pero dahil sa mabagal na pagkilos at implementasyon, ang mga drayber at kundoktor ang nagdurusa. Kailangang magpaliwanag ng LTFRB sa kapabayaang ito,” said Pangilinan.