Davao City to give aid to 3,000 PUJ drivers

Photo by Macky Lim

THE City Government of Davao clarified on Thursday, March 19, that only 3,000 public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers will receive financial assistance.

Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) supervising commissioner for Mindanao and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad) program in-charge Norman Baloro said the assistance will be availed through a "first come, first served" basis.

Baloro said the city got a total amount of P35,640,000 from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) for the compensation of the affected PUJ drivers due to the strict imposition of social distancing, as ordered by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

DOTr, on March 14, imposed social distancing and community quarantine on land transportations, including in buses, UV express vans, and taxis.

Under the order, PUJs are only allowed to cater half of the vehicles' sitting capacity.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio immediately ordered the enrollment of PUJ drivers under the Tupad program due to the their plight of losing income.

Duterte-Carpio also ordered the giving of assistance as not to totally paralyze the mass transportation system, especially for workers.

Baloro, however, said drivers will not immediately receive the assistance as they have to ply their designated routes.

Under the Tupad program, those enrolled must work for 30 days to receive the cash assistance.

Aside from the Dole program, Baloro also said qualified drivers will be automatically enrolled to the state pension fund of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

As for PUJ drivers, Baloro said they are mandated to drive on a specific time, as their attendance will be monitored by the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO).

CTTMO head Dionisio Abude, meanwhile, said drivers can secure an application form for Tupad Program at their office and satellite offices.

He said drivers must prepare the following requirements to avail themselves of the Tupad-assistance: 1pc 1x1 (for Tupad ID), 1pc 2x2 ID picture (attach to profile), Certificate of Underemployment, Community tax certificate or Cedula (one photocopy), and Accident Insurance Receipt (one photocopy).

Abude said drivers shall come back for a scheduled orientation, which will be done by batches to prevent mass gathering.

He added drivers who will not be included in the Tupad program would still be allowed to drive.

He also reiterated that all drivers should strictly impose the social distancing policy as a measure to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.

"Bisan dili qualified sa Tupad program, dili sila pwede nga dili mufollow aning social distancing (Even those not qualified in the Tupad program, should still follow the social distancing)," Abude said in a radio interview.

LTFRB-Davao director Armand Dioso, in a recent interview, said drivers defying the distancing policy will be penalized with P5,000 on first offense, P10,000 for second offense, and franchise suspension for third offense.

Dioso recently apprehended two jeepney drivers in Lasang for overloading (more than the allowable original seating capacity mandated by the agency).

Duterte-Carpio also said drivers are ordered to require their passengers to practice two-meter distancing, otherwise, they will also be penalized.


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