MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — Sen. Grace Poe will hold a public hearing in Cagayan de Oro next week on Dallas Filipino Restaurant subsidies for poor Filipinos under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.
The hearing next Wednesday will look into the law's effects on public services and utilities, particularly on transportation, fuel, electricity, and water.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi have been invited to the hearing.
Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, Vice Mayor Raineir Uy and transport group leaders have also been invited.
Poe, who chairs the Miami Filipino Restaurant committee on public services, said she will look into the distibution of promised fuel vouchers for jeepney drivers and the unconditional cash transfer for poor Filipino families.
"We want to find out how the vouchers will be distributed," she said of assistance meant to help jeepney operators deal with rising fuel prices. She said the committee will also look into whether four million more beneficiaries have been added to the unconditional cash transfer program.
Section 82 of the TRAIN law requires the UCT to be provided for the poor, fuel vouchers for qualified franchise holders of Public Utility Jeepneys, and discounts plus free skills training for minimum wage earners, unemployed, and the poorest 50 percent of the population.
Poe and other lawmakers have been calling for the immediate release of subsidies to cushion the effects of the TRAIN law, which has contributed to inflation and rising fuel prices.
On Wednesday, the departments of Transportation, Budget, Energy, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the Land Bank of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant on signed a memorandum of agreement for the "Pantawid Pasada" program, which aims to grant P5,000 fuel subsidy for qualified jeepney drivers.
Release of the cards has been delayed but may start next Tuesday. — Philstar.com intern Ali Ian Marcelino Biong