By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Pasig City has allocated P55.5 million to aid public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers in the city affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Mayor Vico Sotto announced that the city government will distribute P3,000 cash assistance to tricycle, jeepney, and UV Express drivers who are residents of Pasig.
Some 12,000 tricycle drivers, 5,800 jeepney drivers, and 700 UV Express drivers will benefit from the cash aid courtesy of the city government.
In a social media post, the city mayor said the distribution of the cash assistance will start on Monday, March 30.
Following the implementation of the ECQ in Luzon due to the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the national government has suspended the operation of all modes of public transport.
With this, PUV drivers lost their primary source of income in this time of health crisis.
For his part, Sotto has earlier temporarily allowed the limited operation of tricycles within Pasig.
This was to give frontline personnel a transport option when heading towards their respective work offices.
“Our risk assessment shows that we cannot completely ban tricycles at this point,” Sotto said in a Facebook post recently.
Despite deploying the city’s buses and other vehicles for essential personnel, the mayor noted that these were still not enough.
To ensure social distancing, tricycle drivers were only allowed to ferry one or two passengers per trip.
But the national government has placed a roadblock on the move of Sotto and ordered the immediate suspension of the operation of tricycles in Pasig.
“No more tricycles as per national government directive. We will comply,” Sotto has earlier told the Manila Bulletin in a text message.
Now, with the cash assistance program, the city mayor hopes that this would help drivers affected by the quarantine.