Ayuda for public utility drivers pressed

August 15, 2021 Marlon Purification 329 views

SENATOR Nancy Binay expressed disappointment by the lack of government effort to seriously fast track the implementation of the Service Contracting Program For public utility drivers.

“Tinanggalan na ng pasada, pinagkaitan pa ng ayuda,” Binay said.

“Mahigit nang isang taong pinagkakaitan ng ayuda ang mga kapatid nating mga namamasada. The DOTR and the LTFRB are invisible, and have become the single-biggest job stranglers since the start of the pandemic. Bigyan naman sila kahit konting dignidad sana. Tinanggalan na ng pasada, pinagkaitan pa ng ayuda,” the senator added.

The Commission on Audit called out the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for using only one percent or only P59 million of the P5.58 billion funds allocated to the benefit program for drivers under the agency’s Service Contracting Program.

Only over 29,800 drivers or 49.79 percent of the 60,000 targeted driver participants were registered in the program as of 2020.

“Mahigit isang taon na but the distribution of much-needed cash assistance has hardly improved. Nakakadismaya at both the national and department levels na hanggang ngayon di pa rin priority ang ating jeepney at bus drivers. Wala na nga silang hanap-buhay sa kalsada, pahihirapan pa sila sa proseso ng pagkuha ng ayuda,” said Binay as she urged the government to make the claiming process easier for everyone in the transportation sector.

Beneficiaries of the program include families of drivers of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), such as Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJ), UV Express (UVE), Public Utility Buses (PUB), Point-to-Point Buses (P2P), Taxis, Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS), School Transport, and Motorcycle (MC) Taxis.

“Hindi katanggap-tanggap ang ginagawang panggigipit at pagpapabaya ng LTFRB.

“‘Yung P5.58 billion para sa Service Contracting Program na dapat pantawid-gutom ng mga pamilya na nasa transport sector, would have helped thousands of families who struggle to make ends meet during these hard times. If the DOTR and LTFRB have their hearts in the right place, hindi nila matitiis na makita ang mga jeepney driver na nagmamalimos sa kalsada,”Binay said.

Following the advice of the Department of Budget and Management, the LTFRB will return the unutilized P5.58 billion as of June 30.