MORE than  9,000 drivers and operators have already enrolled in the Social Development Program (SDP) of the Davao Bus Project, previously known as the Davao City High Priority Bus System.

As of Monday, September 11,2023, 9,311 individuals have registered under the City Social Welfare and Development Program (CSWDO) program, which supports those affected by the bus project.

Riza Ibañez, CSWDO program focal person, said, “Ang nagpalista sa amo, total number namo as of yesterday, 9,311 drivers and operators wala pay labot ang atong allied workers. Naa ta'y total number of qualified nga 7,716, then naa pa ta'y pending karon nga 1,535 (As of yesterday, we have a total of 9,311 registered drivers and operators, not including our allied workers. Among them, 7,716 are qualified, and 1,535 registrations are currently pending)." 

Qualified individuals for the SDP include public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers, allied workers, and operators, collectively referred to as Project-Affected People (PAPs) by CSWDO. PAPs represent the community sector most impacted by the bus project.

Ibañez said the SDP will offer financial and non-financial assistance, courtesy of the local government unit (LGU), to support PAPs.

“Duha ka hinabang sa non-financial assistance ug ang financial assistance nga dawaton gyud nila isip compensation kung pananglit mawad-an na sila og trabaho o dili na sila makapadagan sa ilang sakyanan or makapamasahero, mao na siya ang atoang ihatag sa ilaha (We will provide two forms of assistance: non-financial assistance and financial assistance, which will serve as compensation in case they lose their jobs or can no longer operate their vehicles for public transport),” Ibañez said.

The non-financial assistance encompasses an educational and livelihood program designed to help PAPs secure employment or start businesses. Additionally, when implementing the bus project, priority will be given to hiring PAPs.

Furthermore, the educational assistance extends to family members of the beneficiaries. Ibañez clarified, "Ang CSWDO muhatag niini sa elementary to high school, and then ang atoang kolehiyo mao na siya ang in partnership sa EBSU (CSWDO will provide scholarships for elementary and high school students. For college education, we have partnered with the Education Benefit System Unit (EBSU)."

Based on the Social Development Program City Ordinance, PUJ drivers are anticipated to receive no less than P80,000 in financial assistance. However, specific details are still being finalized. 

The distribution of financial aid is expected to commence by the end of 2024, when the initial bus operations begin. Consequently, the City Government of Davao encourages all affected individuals to complete their registrations.

Individuals must provide their Land Transportation Office (LTO) registration to register. Operators should also bring their franchise, IDs issued by the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), PUJ plate numbers, routes, deeds of sale for recently purchased units, and an endorsement from operators as proof of unit operation for drivers. 

These requirements can be submitted to the Davao Bus Office located at People's Park. RGP