The government, through the Department of Energy (DOE), started distributing the Pantawid Pasada Fuel Subsidy Smart Cards to jeepney drivers last 02 May 2011. Each of the smart cards contain PHP1,050 worth of load, which can be used in gasoline stations with signs “Pantawid Cards Accepted Here” – some sort of a Shell/Petron Fleet Card program for the public transportation sector, and it will be the government who will pay for the subsidy.
Now, my questions to the government in implementing the Fuel Subsidy Smart Cards program:
Why use Smart Cards (which costs around PHP300 each, if I am not mistaken)? Why not simply rip-off the VAT (Value-Added Tax) in petroleum products?
Why give the Fuel Subsidy Cards to jeepney (and soon, tricycle) drivers only? Why not all taxpayers who has a vehicle? In the first place, do these jeepney (and tricycle) drivers pay taxes? I belong to the salaried warriors, and tax is already deducted to my monthly pay when it is credited to my account! Why am I NOT entitled to such subsidy?
PHP1,050 is like just 10 liters of fuel, where will that bring them? What will be next after they had used up the load of the Fuel Subsidy Smart Cards?
On a lighter note, the Pantawid Pasada Fuel Subsidy Smart Card was designed by a former student of mine: Ms. Lanie Hernandez, AB Multimedia Arts graduate from the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. Kudos to her (and thanks for allowing me to use her pic below)!