The Department of Budget and Management confirmed on Thursday that the Libreng Sakay Program can continue with a P1.285 billion allocation for the Service Contracting Program of the Department of Transportation under this year’s General Appropriations Act.
Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said the budget allocation will bankroll the continuation of the free ride program that benefits millions of commuters in Metro Manila.
The Service Contracting program, which gives way to the continuation of the Libreng Sakay, provides free bus rides for the public, including bus commuters along EDSA.
“The Service Contracting Program has funds in our FY 2023 GAA. The government has allocated P1.285 billion to continue this program this year,” Pangandaman said.
The Libreng Sakay is a joint program of the DOTr and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to help commuters amid the rising prices of commodities and services.
As of 27 December 2022, the LTFRB has recorded a total of 164,966,373 passengers who have availed of the Libreng Sakay program along EDSA.
Under the Service Contracting Program, public utility vehicle operators and drivers who participate in the free ridership program will receive a one-time payout and then weekly payments based on the number of kilometers traveled per week, whether they have passengers or not.
“We understand the plight of our commuting public. And so President Bongbong Marcos gave us a directive to do our part and to exert our best to help ease their burden. The Service Contracting Program, which funds free riders, is a big help,” Pangandaman said.
“Saving fare is a big help in the daily life of our countrymen. Whatever amount they save daily, they can reallocate to equally or more important needs such as the budget for food, electricity, and tuition fee, among others,” she added.
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