Solon presses aid for displaced PUV drivers

An administration lawmaker called on government Monday to expedite the processing of financial assistance to displaced public utility vehicle drivers, many of them driven to mendicancy to feed their family.


DUMPER PTDA partylist Rep. Claudine Diana Bautista issued the appeal even as the Department of Social Welfare and Development revealed that there are still 36,243 available slots for financial assistance open to jeepney drivers.

Bautista said the DSWD has revealed that a total 4,175 more are left for drivers of TNVS.

Bautista, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Transportation, called on the DSWD and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to immediately release the cash aid, saying that many of the country’s drivers are in dire straits as a result of the  impact of the COVID 19 pandemic.

“If government can expedite the release of the financial aid then it must.  Our drivers and their family urgently need help,” she said.

Bautista filed House Resolution No. 1003 to formally issue the appeal for swifter distribution of financial assistance to beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program in the transport sector.

She lamented that many jeepney drivers have resorted to begging on the streets to raise money for their daily sustenance.

The lady solon said that while she understands that delays in the release of cash assistance are being caused by government processes and the limited manpower of both the DSWD and the LTFRB, this can be addressed by ensuring stronger coordination and cooperation among agencies involved in the implementation  of the SAP.

To guide beneficiaries on how to access the SAP, DUMPER PTDA has published a primer on DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) and the government’s SAP.

Close coordination are being conducted with drivers’organizations to teach them on how to assist members in pursuing their cash benefits.

However, Bautista noted that not all drivers groups welcome government help to be able to cushion the financial impact of the pandemic.

According to her, certain groups rejected SAP benefits for their members, saying they prefer cash donations to their personal bank accounts.