Comelec lifts ban on DA fuel vouchers

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will soon be able to resume the implementation of its P500-million fuel subsidy fuel program for farmers, who are still reeling from the effects of high pump prices.

This after the Commission on Elections en banc approved through a resolution at its meeting on Wednesday the DA’s request for clearance to continue the program during the election ban that runs March 25 until May 8, 2022.

The program, which provided qualified corn farmers and fisherfolk a maximum of P3,000 fuel discount, was just launched last month before the DA was forced to suspend it due to the election ban.

“Yes, it was exempted from the ban,” Comelec Commissioner George M. Garcia told BusinessMirror in a Viber message.

The poll official said DA will be able to continue its fuel voucher program once it gets the copy of the new Comelec resolution for the said exemption. 

However,  he noted that the Comelec en banc disapproved exemptions for some of their other programs, which the DA wants to be also exempted from the election ban.

Besides its fuel subsidy program, DA is also seeking the exemption of its fertilizer subsidy for rice, corn and cassava farmers; cash assistance for rice farmers and procurement of farm machinery.

Last week, Comelec exempted the fuel subsidy program of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers.  

Comelec enforces the election ban for public works to prevent government funds from being used for election campaign purposes.


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