The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) can only offer discounts —no more free rides—for commuters using the EDSA Bus Carousel line owing to a limited budget this year, its chief said on Friday.
LTFRB head Assistant Secretary Teofilo Guadiz III said offering discounts to the riding public would let the agency “stretch” the P1.2-billion budget given for the program.
“Probably what we will do here is we will just be giving discount,” he said in a press briefing, when asked if the Libreng Sakay Program from the EDSA Bus Carousel will resume.
Other modes of transportation such as jeepneys, and not just the current buses using the carousel, will be covered by the planned discounts, Guadiz said.
The LTFRB is still waiting for the instructions of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) regarding the program’s implementation, he added.
At a televised public briefing, LTFRB technical division head Joel Bolano said the agency is just waiting for the budget to be downloaded to them.
Meanwhile, Bolano said that around P3 billion has been allocated for the fuel subsidies for public utility vehicles (PUVs).
The government has been offering free rides in the EDSA Bus Carousel under its Libreng Sakay program, which ended on December 31, 2022.
Under the program started during the previous Duterte administration, the government taps buses to provide free rides to commuters.
According to the DOTr, the EDSA Bus Carousel accommodates around 320,000 to 390,000 passengers daily.