The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) is seeking the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry for the possible extension of fuel subsidies to its members to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices.
Maria Zapata, CTAP president, said the group submitted a list of their members to the DTI as well as the number of trucks they are operating.
“[The DTI is] negotiating but we know that this is not up to the DTI, they are just the facilitator. The decision is with the Department of Energy,” Zapata said.
The government earlier released fuel subsidies of up to P6,500 each to some 115,000 public utility drivers and operators amid the spiraling prices of oil and petroleum products.
Zapata expressed hope that the government will eventually recognize the need to grant subsidies to the trucking industry, similar to the policies in other Southeast Asian countries, as they are part of the logistics chain.
Trucking in the Philippines, Zapata said, is treated as a commercial activity and not as a public utility.
CTAP earlier adjusted its trucking freight rates by some 30 percent to ease the impact of runaway oil prices.
Zapata said the trucking freight rate hike remains reasonable as oil prices have more than doubled compared to last year’s.
She added that about 40 to 60 percent of the expenses in the trucking business is fuel.
Oil companies on April 25 announced a big increase in pump prices, with gasoline by as much as P3 and diesel by P4.10.
Domestic pump prices have been on an uptrend in 13 out of the past 16 weeks, which the Department of Energy attributed to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, along with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China which have driven demand.
The latest data available from the Department of Energy indicate that adjustments stand at a net increase of P15.45 per liter for gasoline, P27.35 per liter for diesel, and P21.55 per liter for kerosene as of April 19, 2022.