Vico Sotto announces cash assistance to Pasig PUV drivers hit by lockdown

JC Gotinga
Drivers of jeepneys, tricycles, and UV Express vans in Pasig City will each receive P3,000 from the local government

VICO SOTTO. Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto greets a volunteer during the launch of an urban reforestation projecy in Pasig's Rainforest Park on October 8, 2019. File photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Drivers of Pasig’s public utility vehicles (PUV) that are grounded because of the coronavirus lockdown will receive financial assistance from the city government, Mayor Vico Sotto announced on Thursday, March 26.

Pasig’s roughly 5,800 jeepney drivers, 12,000 tricycle drivers, and 700 UV Express van drivers will each receive P3,000, with the handout program totaling P55.5 million, Sotto said on his official social media accounts.

The distribution schedule will begin on Monday, March 30.

Sotto earlier tried to get the national government’s approval of his plan to allow tricycles to make limited trips within Pasig to service health workers, employees of essential businesses, and the infirm who do not have their own cars.

The national government ruled out the proposal, and Pasig complied.

With non-essential establishments temporarily shuttered and public transport grounded, Sotto earlier said the biggest challenge to the city government is to provide for its many constituents who are unable to earn a living during the lockdown, and although they understand the need for the measure, it will become a big problem when jobless families start feeling the strain.

 

The mayor first mentioned the plan to financially assist (PUV) drivers at the Laging Handa televised media briefing by Malacañang on Monday, March 23. He did not disclose the plan’s details then.

The city’s other projects to assist lockdown-hit workers is the Mobile Palengke roving stores that allow public market vendors to continue selling produce, and the distribution of some 400,000 food packs to Pasig’s poor communities.

The city also prepares 2,000 packed meals daily and offers free shuttle rides for health workers, security officers, and other frontliners in the battle against the coronavirus.

Sotto also assured all employees of the city government – regular or casual – of their full salaries despite their scaled down work schedules during the “enhanced community quarantine.” – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.