MANILA – Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista on Friday clarified that his department did not overlook the drivers’ sector in providing aid under the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) amid the health crisis.
“Nakapamahagi na ang DSWD ng higit sa PHP857.3 milyon ayuda sa mahigit 100,000 tsuper ng transport network vehicle service (TNVS) at public utility vehicles (PUV) sa buong bansa. Ito ay base sa listahan na ibinigay ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) (The Department of Social Welfare and Development has distributed more than PHP857.3 million in aid to more than 100,000 TNVS and PUV drivers nationwide. This was based on the list provided by the LTFRB),” Bautista said in a press briefing.
This came after reports that some jeepney drivers have resorted to asking for alms on the street as public transport has been limited during the community quarantine.
The drivers who were included in the recommended list of the LTFRB were referred to DSWD field offices and were among the waitlisted beneficiaries of the second tranche of the SAP aid (SAP-2), he added.
Bautista said about 115,680 drivers from various regions have received the aid.
DSWD data showed it has released 3,616 family food packs and 800 sanitary kits to TNVS and PUV drivers in the National Capital Region who have approached the office.
The department also allocated 910 family food packs and 164 sanitary kits to members of the Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Association (TODA).
Bautista earlier explained that 24,851 PUV and 1,959 taxi drivers are already beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which is why they were excluded from the LTFRB list.
12.34M of 14.1M beneficiaries get SAP-2 aid
Meanwhile, the DSWD reported that it has distributed the SAP-2 aid to more than 12.34 million family beneficiaries.
It said that as of August 13, the department has rolled out more than PHP74.5 billion worth of aid to low-income families.
The granting of emergency subsidies is mandated by Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”.
The aid, which ranges from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000, is for low-income families – those in the subsistence economy, workers in the informal economy, or those belonging to the vulnerable sector – who have been identified as among the hardest-hit during the health crisis. Christine Cudis / PNA – northboundasia.com