Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson today proposed a program to distribute fuel discount coupons to public utility drivers only, so that the maximum effect of the announced one percent tariff cut on oil products will benefit only those who need it most.
Similarly, he called on the Philippine National Police leadership to intensify efforts to curb “kotong” and extortion activities which victimize lowly drivers and transport operators.
“Kapag nakotongan ang isang driver ng 50 to 100 pesos sa isang araw ng pag-pasada, mas malaki pa ito kaysa sa matitipid niya dahil sa 1% decrease in tariff which would only translate to fifty centavos per liter of diesel”, Lacson explained.
“We should come up with a package of measures, tax as well as non-tax, in order to alleviate the burden of our public utility drivers who are the hardest hit by the prevailing cost of oil in the world market”, Lacson said.
During Lacson’s 14-month stint as chief of the national police, he was able to stop the pernicious practice of cops mulcting lowly transport drivers, called “kotong”. The scourge of drivers has since come back with a revenge, which is why even the newly-appointed PNP Chief, Avelino Razon Jr., announced that he would revive the campaign to stop “kotong”.
“Sadyang kaawa-awa ang mga driver natin. Sa walang habas na pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, sila ang unang natatamaan, dahil hindi rin naman agad-agad pwedeng pataasin ang presyo ng pasahe, na dagdag pabigat namansa sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan na sumasakay sa public conveyances”, Lacson said.
Lacson also asked the LTFRB to run against colorum bus operators, and terminate once and for all their continued illegal operations.
“We have a glut of empty buses running in our streets, wasting fuel, causing traffic that in turn wastes more fuel, simply because the DOTC is unable to implement the law properly”, Lacson observed.
“Summit or no summit, common sense and political will should produce a package of measures and government interventions that would relieve our people from the anxieties of the unpredictable and increasingly difficult world oil market, Lacson, the son of a driver himself, stated.