Iloilo jeep barkers to get livelihood aid-A A +A
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
THE Iloilo City Government has assured livelihood assistance to more than 70 jeepney barkers and dispatchers in the city in a bid to provide them with alternative livelihood opportunities and income generating projects.
Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the presence of barkers in various loading and unloading areas is in clear violation of the existing city ordinance which provides penalties against erring barkers with a fine of P200.
The ordinance was further amended in 2009 by increasing the fine from P200 to P1,000 and imprisonment from two to five days.
However, Mabilog instructed the police to suspend implementation of the city ordinance for 15 days or until March 22, 2013 for the city social welfare and development office (CSWDO) to process the livelihood assistance for the barkers.
Last week, a disagreement ensued between barkers and jeepney drivers with members of the Traffic Management and Transportation Regulation Office (TMTRO) regarding alleged fees demanded by the barkers.
Some officials of the jeepney drivers and owners associations complained of the situation and wanted the City Government and the police to stop collection of fees by the barkers.
In a dialogue with the barkers and officials of jeepney driver associations on Tuesday, Mabilog instructed CSWDO officer Alfredo Villanueva to organize the group in order for them to avail of the various city programs on livelihood assistance such as self employment assistance (SEA) and other livelihood options.
Villanueva said that some of the barkers are also beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who will qualify for a modified cash transfer program. The social preparation for these barkers on livelihood opportunities will take about two weeks to process.
Barker Manuel Mauricio in the Jaro plaza area said they deny the accusations of harassment or demanding fees from the drivers. What they wanted is for the jeepney drivers to respect them as the jeepneys cannot be full of passengers without their help.
Barker Antonio Mangalisa, also from the Jaro Plaza area, admitted that jeepney drivers are not forced to give out and that TMTRO traffic enforcers are not intervening in their work.
Mabilog reiterated that TMTRO traffic enforcers are there to nab erring drivers but not the barkers as it is the work of the police.
Iloilo City Police Office (Icpo) Director Ruperto Floro assured the police will be there to stop extortion and threat of the barkers on the drivers and the apprehensions of barkers will start by March 22.