By Warren Elijah Valdez
DAVAO CITY – There are only 570 slots remaining for public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers who will be granted financial aid by the city government for enforcing strict social distancing among their passengers.
City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) chief Dionisio Abude said that 2,430 drivers have already registered for the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad) program for PUJ drivers.
This initiative from the local government will help cover the income loss of drivers affected by the mandated social distancing. Each PUJ driver will receive P11,880 per month as long as they work and observe the proper protocol for social distancing.
Attendance of these registered drivers will be monitored to ensure that they are operating during their duty hours.
In an interview with Davao City Disaster Radio on Tuesday, March 24, Abude said closed slots included the routes in Matina Aplaya, Catalunan Grande, Sasa via JP Laurel, Dona Pilar, Matina Pangi , Route 6, Ulas, Puan, Route 2, Route, 1, Route 13, Route 8, Route 5, Tigatto, Communal, Buhangin via JP Laurel, Route 11, Juliville, Langub and Panacan.
He disclosed some routes with available slots; Mahayag with six slots left; Maa four slots left; Magtuod one slot left; Talomo -six slots left; Cabantian 15 slots left; Tibungco via Cabaguio seven slots left; Emily Homes 12 slots left; Landmark seven slots left; Country homes four slots left; Accacia 26 slots left; Panabo 11 slots left; Indangan 20 slots left; Catitipan via JP Laurel 20 slots left; Catitipan via Dacudao –two slots left; Buhangin via Dakudao two slots left; Jade valley 15 slots left; Callawa 29 slots left; Deca Tacunan 11 slots left; Toril 26 slots left; Ecoland SM 33 slots left; Sasa via R. Castillo 19 slots left; Route 4 59 routes left; El rio 16 slots left; Lasang via Sasa five slots left; Obrero six slots left; Route 3 with only slot left; Bangkal with four slots left; Tugbok/Minta/Calinan with five slots left, Route 10 with 58 slots; Bago Gallera with two slots; Bunawan via Sasa with 21 slots; Lasang via Buhangin with eight slots left; Bunawan via Buhangin with 13 slots; Panacan via JP Laurel with 49; Panacan via Buhangin, 25.
“All should comply with the requirements and protocols given to them so that they will not be disqualified in this program,” Abude said.
Following the suspension of the Tupad registration due to the unobserved social distancing, the CTTMO chief said that they have decided to implement the processing online.
“Due to our recent experience of mass gathering (during registration) even if we were constantly advising them (to observe social distancing) they won’t listen. All they do is rush each other so that anyone of them can go first,” he said, adding that the process is based on the “first come, first serve” basis.
He said that it was decided that the processing should be done online, especially that we have experiencing an increase of cases of COVID-19 in the city.
Abude also said that in every route, there should be a representative or leader who will be allowed to approach CTTMO to give the list of those who will be availing the program.
Those who wish to inquire can message them through their Facebook messenger at “TUPAD Program for PUJ Drivers due to Covid-19.”