Following the reimplementation of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR), a non-government organization (NGO) has distributed food packs to 400 jeepney drivers in Metro Manila who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson and Malasakit Movement founder, said they rove around the metropolis giving aid to jeepney drivers who have resorted to begging for alms on the streets just to make ends meet.
She said the food packs they gave drivers contain five kilos of rice, five packs of noodles, canned sardines, and biscuits.
"Since the start of MECQ, we have been giving food packs to jeepney drivers who beg alms on the streets of Metro Manila," she said. "While aboard a vehicle, we distribute food packs to the jeepney drivers."
Under MECQ, no public transportation is allowed to operate. With no other source of income, some jeepney drivers are now begging for money from passersby, while others, with their little savings, have started small businesses in order to provide for their families.
On Aug. 2, the government reimposed MECQ in the NCR from Aug. 4 to 18 after overworked health workers appealed for a respite following the ballooning number of COVID-19 cases in the country related to the easing of strict quarantine restrictions in June.
Pialago said the Malasakit Movement will continue to hand out food packs to Metro Manila jeepney drivers "as long as we can provide."
The NGO founder thanked the donors actively supporting the movement to help the marginalized sectors during these difficult times.
"I am very thankful to all the well-meaning people who donated to the Malasakit Movement. They are the ones helping us to give aid to our kababayans during this pandemic," she said.