By Donna Rempillo
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – Starting June 5 (Friday), some 500 public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will start picking up passengers on regular routes here, as beneficiaries of the “Tulong Pasada” project of Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda in Pampanga province.
(Pampanga PIO/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Tulong Pasada is a response to the request of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham) and other sectors for support of not only drivers and operators, but also workers whose woes increased due to the transport crisis amid the pandemic.
The project includes a partial fuel subsidy to help drivers with their daily living expenses while under the general community quarantine (GCQ) period.
“Ang mga drivers po ay nawalan din ng kita simula mag-quarantine tayo laban sa COVID-19. Tinutulungan po natin sila na kumita ulit para sa kanilang mga pamilya (Our drivers lost their job at the start of quarantine due to our fight with COVID-19. We are helping them earn an income again for their families)," Pineda said.
Prior to the implementation of this project, the provincial capitol launched the “Libreng Sakay Para sa mga Manggagawa” (Free Rides for Workers) project of Gov. Pineda and Vice Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda to provide free transportation to employees.
The provincial government has mobilized 20 large buses and 549 jeepneys to ply routes and ferry passengers to and from designated pick-up and drop-off stations.
The project has gained more support from the private sector, with bus terminals and mall transport terminals, particularly those in San Fernando, collaborating with the efforts of the local government to accommodate the public utility vehicles giving free rides.
Moreover, to ensure the strict observance of minimum health and safety standards, the Pampanga Provincial Police Office headed by Police Col. Jean Fajardo has deployed police personnel to act as dispatchers at terminals. They check IDs and enforce the wearing of masks as well as physical distancing.