THE Cebu City Government distributed on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, a sack of 50 kilos of rice to each of the 1,000 public utility jeepney drivers whose livelihood has been disrupted by the crisis brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Mayor Edgardo Labella said he decided to distribute the rice assistance after he learned that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) did not allow old jeepneys to ply.
Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Richmund de Leon said the virus that causes Covid-19 can quickly spread inside old public utility jeepneys.
Cebu City is under general community quarantine (GCQ) on June 1-15, 2020. During the entire period of GCQ, buses and modern jeepneys are allowed to transport passengers on a reduced capacity.
City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. said the original plan was to distribute 25 kilos of rice, but the mayor insisted on giving 50 kilos of rice to each of the jeepney drivers.
The distribution happened during a meeting with the drivers outside the command center of the Cebu City Hall.
Jeepney driver Louie Baylosis thanked the mayor for considering their plight.
“Lisod gyud kay ang amo gisaligan ug gibuhi sa among pamilya mao ra gyud ang pag-drive (We fell on hard times because my family rely on and live off only on me driving a jeepney),” he said.
Baylosis gladly received the rice assistance, saying he needed it to feed his three children, albeit for a short period of time. (PAC)