ANGELES City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. has offered scholarships to the children of a passenger jeepney driver who went viral on social media for giving free fares to senior citizens.
Andy David Malig, who paid a courtesy call to the mayor on Wednesday, November 20, received praises from Lazatin and other city officials for his generosity to the elderly.
Lazatin offered tertiary education to Malig’s three high school students at the City College of Angeles (CCA).
Malig was awarded with a plaque of recognition and undetermined amount of cash reward by the city government.
“Idol ke ini e, sana dakal la pa reng kalupa mung driver (You’re my idol, and I hope there will more [generous] drivers like you,” the mayor told Malig.
Malig said he and his wife stay at the main gate area near the jeepney terminal in Barangay Malabanias, but their children are studying at a community high school in Barangay Tokwing, Porac.
The driver told Lazatin that he doesn’t even own the jeepney he is driving, and he must pay P500 as boundary fee to his operator daily.
The 43-year-old driver went viral after Edgardo Reg Belza Jr. posted on his Facebook account the former’s photos. The post earned more than 102,000 likes, 14,000 comments, 22 shares, as of Thursday, Nov. 22.
Belza said Malig returned his mother’s fare when the latter learned that his mother is a senior citizen.
Belza added he salutes Malig, because he is concerned about the welfare of the elderly.
“He asked me if my mother is a senior and when I said yes, he replied that senior citizens do not have to pay for jeepney fares,” Belza said.
Malig, a driver for more than 15 years, told SunStar Pampanga that he has been doing this generous act to the elderly for the past several years.
“Ganyan po talaga ako, hindi ko po sila pinamamasahe ang mga seniors kasi po wala na po silang trabaho (That’s how I really am. I don’t let the seniors pay the fare because they don’t have a job anymore). Kawawa po sila (They’re pitiful),” Malig said.
Malig has received praises and wishes of God’s blessings from the netizens.
Ma. Theresa Jesus, one of the netizens who praised Malig, said drivers like him are rarely seen nowadays.
“Bihira ang ganyan maipagmamalaki mong isa kang Pinoy na may malasakit sa kapwa (Its rare nowadays that you can be an admirable Filipino who is solicitous towards others),” Jesus said.
Belza also received praises from the netizens.
Belza’s sister, Rhea Yang Rolle, said his brother did the right thing because people should know how Malig makes senior citizens like their mother happy.
“Salamat po sa lahat ng nag-comment sa akin (Thank you to everyone who gave comments about me). Hindi ko po alam na nasa Facebook ako (I didn’t know I was on Facebook). Nagulat ako (I was surprised),” Malig said.