Govt mulls new round of aid for jeepney drivers
June 06 2020 12:14 AM
Drivers of jeepney
Drivers of jeepney, a popular public transport, chant slogans during a protest in Quezon city in the Metro Manila area recently, calling on the government to let them return to work.

By Catherine S Valente/Manila Times

The government is studying the possibility of giving another round of cash assistance to jeepney drivers, Malacanang said, as passenger jeepneys remain banned amid the implementation of general community quarantine.
“We are studying the possibility of giving cash aid to jeepney drivers who lost their livelihood for the third month because they are still not allowed to operate,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said during a virtual press briefing.
“We know that this is really difficult for them because they are not allowed to operate. So, we are now preparing additional cash aid just for them,” he added.
Transport group Piston earlier said there were 500,000 jeepney drivers and 200,000 small jeepney operators who lost their income because of the pandemic.
Jeepney drivers who lost their income are entitled to cash aid ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 from the government.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has said it had distributed cash aid to some 36,200 jeepney drivers.
Roque earlier said the government was considering hiring jeepney drivers as contact tracers in the government’s battle against Covid-19.
He bared that the government was looking to hire around 120,000 contact tracers nationwide.
“We’re also considering the complete reconfiguration of the jeepney to comply with minimum health standards,” he said.
Until June 21, public transport is limited to train and bus augmentation units, taxis, ride-hailing cars, point-to-point buses, shuttle services and bicycles.
Tricycles are also allowed subject to the approval of local government units.
From June 22 to June 30, the Department of Transportation said public utility buses, modern jeepneys and UV express vans would be allowed to 

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