More than 115,000 public transport drivers have received their emergency cash subsidies, amounting to more than P857.3 million, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said Thursday (August 13).
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista assured the public that the agency is continuously looking after the welfare of drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and the Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) amid the government’s re-imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and other neighboring areas.
"Hindi natin kinalimutan ang sektor ng mga tsuper (We have not forgotten the drivers of the public transport sector). Sa katunayan (In fact), nakapamahagi na ang DSWD ng (the DSWD has distributed) higit (over) P857.3 milyong piso (million pesos) para sa ayuda (for the cash aid) ng higit isang daang libong (of over one hundred thousand) drivers ng (of the) Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS)/Public Utility Jeepneys (PUV) sa buong bansa (all over the country) base sa listahan na ibinigay ng (based on the list given by the) Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB),” he said in a virtual press briefing.
Included in the agency's list of SAP 2 recipients are the 115,464 TNVS and PUV drivers, Bautista noted.
Bautista said those public transport drivers who were not included in the LTFRB list of SAP beneficiaries have been referred to the DSWD Field Offices and have been included in the list of waitlisted recipients.
"Sa kasalukuyan (At present), may (there are) 115,680 waitlisted drivers na ang nabigyan ng ayuda (who were given the cash aid) mula sa ibat’ ibang rehiyon (from the different regions),” he noted.
He said since April, the DSWD Field Office National Capital Region (NCR) has distributed 3,616 Family Food Packs (FFPs), and 800 sanitary kits to the TNVS drivers who sought the agency’s assistance. It has also provided 910 FFPs and 164 sanitary kits to members of Tricycle Operators’ and Drivers’ Association (TODA) and PUV drivers, he added.
Bautista explained anew that not all public transport drivers are qualified to receive the emergency cash subsidy under SAP, citing that 24,581 PUV and 1,959 Motorcycle Taxis (MC) drivers are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
During his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa on July 27, President Duterte directed the DSWD and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to look into complaints that some public transport drivers "did not receive any assistance at all” amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
Bautista said apart from the 115,464 TNVS and PUV drivers, over 5.5 million low-income, and non-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps); 1.35 million 4Ps families; over 3 million “waitlisted”, low-income, and non-4Ps households nationwide; and over 1.3 million “waitlisted” beneficiaries from the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) areas also got their SAP 2 emergency cash subsidies.
He noted that as of August 12, P74 billion worth of cash subsidies have been distributed to over 12.25 million SAP 2 beneficiaries.
The number of served beneficiaries is almost 87 percent of the 14.1 million targeted beneficiaries for the second tranche.
Bautista also cautioned the SAP beneficiaries against giving out their One-Time PIN (OTP), or other confidential information to people introducing themselves as personnel of financial service providers (FSPs) or DSWD in the wake of increasing reports of phishing scams targeting SAP recipients.
He also assured the beneficiaries that their subsidies will be credited into their restricted transactional and nominated accounts amid false information being circulated that after August 15 the cash aid will no longer be available, that fired up long queues in payout centers.
"Wala pong katotohanan ang balita na ‘yan (There is no truth to that information), nasa restricted transactional accounts lang nila ang pera (their money is in their restricted transactional accounts)” he explained.
He advised the public, especially the SAP beneficiaries, to check their sources of online information and engage only with legitimate sources such as official government websites and social media pages.