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The palace has appealed to jeep drivers and operators not to halt operations.

MANILA, Philippines — Malacanang on Monday appealed to public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers and operators not to go ahead with their intention to cease statewide jeepney operations this week due to rising gasoline prices.

“Nanawagan kami sa mga tsuper at mga operator ng mga jeep na huwag ituloy ang kanilang planong tigil pasada ngayon linggo,” stated Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in a press statement.

Andanar emphasized that the government is doing all possible to mitigate the impact of rising fuel costs caused by a worldwide oil supply shortage.

He praised the Department of Transportation’s ongoing efforts to make the gasoline subsidy program available to eligible people.

“As of June 1, 2022, nasa mahigit 180,000 public utility vehicle operators ang nabigyan na ng fuel subsidy,” he continued.

Continuous oil price spikes have long been a source of discontent among jeepney drivers and operators, especially since they rely on their daily wages.

Most PUJ drivers make less than PHP300 per day, according to the transportation association Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide.

The government has so far provided multibillion pesos in transportation budget aid.

The Department of Energy previously warned that once the international price of oil exceeds USD200 a barrel, average local retail fuel prices might surge to a high of PHP100 per liter.

Currently, the average retail price per liter is PHP70.

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