a person riding on the back of a truck: LTFRB: P860 million incentives given to PUV drivers © Michael Varcas, file LTFRB: P860 million incentives given to PUV drivers

MANILA, Philippines — Nearly P860 million in incentives and subsidies have been distributed to public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers nationwide under the government’s service contracting program, according to data from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

A total of 14,131 drivers have received their initial payout from the program, LTFRB records show. An estimated 4,500 drivers nationwide have also received their P15,000 onboarding incentive.

Under the program, drivers are entitled to an initial amount of P4,000, a weekly payout depending on the service and a one-time onboarding incentive.

The service contracting program is part of the subsidy packages under Bayanihan 2 to cushion the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transport sector.

Around P5 billion was allotted for the program to ensure that transport operations will be financially viable despite the health protocols that reduced passenger capacity in public vehicles.

Drivers?can receive incentives and subsidies based on?kilometers?traveled, depending on the type of transport and its compliance with agreed-upon performance indicators.

The LTFRB doubled?the per-kilometer incentive under the program to P27 for traditional and modernized jeepneys and P45.50 for public utility buses, from the previous rate of P11 and P23.10, respectively.

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