Lawmaker files resolution to fund continued free ride program in 2023


A LAWMAKER on Wednesday filed a resolution directing the House Committee on Appropriations to restore the P12 billion proposed fund for the government’s free ride program under the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) budget. 

“The Libreng Sakay program extensively helps millions of our fellow Filipinos,” AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee, who filed House Resolution 418, said in a press statement. 

“I am aware that this is not a sustainable program for our riding public, but rising oil prices have continued to exacerbate our existing transport crisis since the pandemic occurred,” he said, adding that the continued weakening of the peso leads to inflation. 

“It will be in the wrong timing if we stop the free ride program in the middle of this crisis,” he said. 

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in June reported that the free ride program has benefited 203.6 million passengers.

The free ride program, which involves service contracting by the government, was launched in late 2020 as a coronavirus pandemic response measure to aid the public transport sector and commuters. — Kyanna Angela Bulan