The nonprofit organization Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) has set up a donation drive for displaced jeepney drivers during quarantine.
With Metro Manila easing into general community quarantine (GCQ), most businesses have started resuming operations. But the lack of public transportation has left many workers inconvenienced or stranded in the streets of the Metro. Aside from a few taxis and the rail systems, public utility vehicles (PUV) are still not allowed to operate, leaving PUV drivers without income for longer.
PANAWAGAN PARA SA MGA DONASYON PARA SA ATING MGA JEEPNEY DRIVER
The select few who have been allowed to operate have been very creative in ensuring that social distancing protocols are followed—they use cardboard boxes and plastic to create physical boundaries for passengers and even marked the places inside the jeep where passengers will be allowed to sit. Earlier today, PISTON also called for the release of the six jeepney drivers who have been arrested in Caloocan for staging a protest for the resumption of jeepney operations. Today’s protest was the second one the group has held, with the protest on Commonwealth Avenue yesterday, Jun. 1, being the first.
BREAKING: Anim na drayber ng PISTON hinuli ng mga pulis sa Caloocan
In response to this, The Move as One Coalition has demanded that the government consider hiring unemployed transport operators and drivers in order to help alleviate the shortage in mass transportation during the GCQ. This is part of a stimulus package that includes spending for better walking and cycling infrastructure as well as creation of better bus lanes and stations in Metro Manila.
According to the Department of Transportation, jeeps and UV Express vehicles will be allowed to resume operations by Jun. 22. Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade also assured the public that the difficulty in transportation is only “temporary,” although there are still no plans from the department on how they will address and resolve the lack of concrete solutions to the transportation shortage.
In the meantime, donations from the public can be given to PISTON in order to help out the PUV drivers who have yet to receive any sort of financial aid from the government.
Palakasin din natin ang panawagan ng mga driver at operator na makabalik sa pamamasada at makaagapay sa mga manggagawang umaasa sa pampublikong transportasyon!
The donation drive allows in-kind donations, from surgical masks, hand soap, medicine, baby diapers and rubbing alcohol. The group has also provided a bank account and contact person for cash donations.
Aside from this, they have also put up a petition that will convince the government to resume operation for jeepneys, buses and UVs, instead of prioritizing the rollout of the modernized jeepney and the eventual phasing out of the old jeepney units, which can render many drivers and operators without a source of income.