The Development Budget Coordination Committee is closely monitoring the factors affecting the oil prices in the country. Given recent developments, the government remains ready to provide targeted relief assistance and support to address the impact of the oil price hike for affected sectors, especially Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers, farmers, and fisherfolk.
Based on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) latest assessment as of February 17, 2022, the Dubai crude oil price for this year is projected to average at USD 83.3 per barrel. Nonetheless, this is expected to decelerate to USD 79.0 by the end of this year based on the latest oil futures.
To assist the transport sector, the government is preparing to release PHP 2.5 billion for the Fuel Subsidy Program of the Department of Transportation. This aims to provide fuel vouchers to over 377,000 qualified PUV drivers who are operating jeepneys, UV express, taxis, tricycles, and other full-time ride-hailing and delivery services nationwide.
In addition, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has a budget of PHP 500 million to provide assistance through fuel discounts to farmers and fisherfolk who either individually own and operate agricultural and fishery machinery or operate through a farmers organization or cooperative. This will help mitigate the impact of elevated fuel prices on production and transport costs of farm and fishery products.
Moreover, the government is also pursuing a holistic value chain approach to ensure an adequate and affordable food supply amidst the rising oil prices. In particular, the DA supports legislation such as Senate Bill No. 139 or the Philippine Livestock Development Industry Act and Senate Bill No. 2176 or the Affordable Pork Act to help ease possible domestic supply constraints and prevent second-round effects on prices.
The DBCC remains committed to taking decisive action to ensure the unhampered supply of goods and services despite the rising oil prices amid the pandemic. These will support our full recovery and sustained growth in 2022 and beyond.