DBM releases ₱1.4B for 'Libreng Sakay' at EDSA Busway until end-2022

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released ₱1.4 billion to fund free rides at the EDSA Busway until the end of 2022.

In a satetement on Tuesday, the DBM said the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) and Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA) for the amount released on Aug. 9 will cover additional financing requirements for the extended implementation of service contracting of public utility vehicles along the EDSA Carousel Route.

This is the exact amount sought by the Department of Transportation for the program's extended implementation. 

"Malaking tulong at ginhawa po ang Libreng Sakay sa bulsa ng mga commuter, lalo na para sa mga estudyante at mga kabilang sa labor force," said Budget Sec. Amenah Pangandaman. "This will support up to 50 million ridership from September 1 until December 31."

[Translation: The Libreng Sakay is of much help to commuters' pockets, especially for students and those part of the labor force.]

The fund will benefit 628 units of public utility buses and also aid EDSA Busway drivers dealing with high fuel prices while reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the transport sector, she also said.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. announced the extension of the free EDSA Bus Carousel rides in July.