There are gov't assistance programs for you, Tugade reminds PUV drivers, conductors

Published June 21, 2021, 7:03 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has advised drivers and conductors of public utility vehicles (PUVs) to take advantage of the government’s assistance program for transport stakeholders affected by the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Jeepney driver Ricardo Legaspi now lives inside his jeepney with his family after the lockdown halted his only source of income. (Alvin Kabisan / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade reiterated his call for public transport workers to join the department’s service contracting program and the “Tsuper Iskolar” program as a way to help them get back on their feet.

“Kung maaari ay sumama, sumanib kayo sa mga programang inihanda upang maka-benepisyo hindi lang sa mga kapatid nating tsuper, kasama na rin ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay (Please join the programs that have been designed to benefit not only our drivers but also their loved ones),” Tugade said.

According to Tugade, participating PUV drivers under service contracting will receive an onboarding incentive as well as a per kilometer fee to ferry medical frontliners, authorized persons outside of residence (APORs), and essential employees through the “Libreng Sakay” program.

The DOTr and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) earlier increased the amount of payouts for drivers who joined the free ride program from P46.80 to P82.50 per kilometer for buses, and P52.50 for jeepneys.

Participants will also receive an additional P7,000 if they log in through the LTFRB’s driver mobile application for at least five days a week.

Meanwhile, Tugade also encouraged PUV drivers and conductors to enroll in the Tsuper Iskolar program of the DOTr and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in order to enhance their skills.

The program aims to provide PUV drivers and conductors, as well as their families, with free skills training, skills assessment, and entrepreneurship training.

Apart from the free skills training and assessment, Tsuper Iskolar beneficiaries and their dependents will also receive a regular stipend of P350 for the duration of the training sessions.