Out of job jeepney drivers in Manila turn to begging amid ECQ
Aileen Cerrudo • May 14, 2020 • 1280
MANILA, Philippines — Jeepney drivers in Manila were seen begging on the streets after losing their livelihood during the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The group of drivers, who are members of the Monumento, Baclaran, Blumentritt Transport Cooperative (MBBTC), took to Rizal Avenue to ask motorists for aid.
According to Noeme Bayona, one of the drivers, they are forced to seek help on the street now that the ECQ has been further extended in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Nakakahiya sana manghingi pero tinitiis para may makain (It’s humiliating to beg but we endure it so we can have something to eat),” he said.
Most of the drivers are from far from their hometowns and have no other relatives living in Manila. In order to save money, they only eat once a day.
According to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, they have already provided aid to these jeepney drivers; however, they cannot sustain the supply due to the city’s limited sources.
“It was the local government unit of Manila that gave the first assistance,” he said.
Meanwhile, a group of mothers in Barangay 210, Sta. Cruz also took to the streets to ask motorists for assistance.
Evangeline Lousara, mother of one of the drivers, said they have already used up the assistance given by the Manila City government. They were also not listed in the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the national government.
“Lalo na sa mga maintenance namin kasi na-extend na po ang quarantine (Especially for our maintenance because the quarantine is extended),“ she said.
For Noeme, he only hopes for public transportation to resume operations. —AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines—The Manila City government has released P38.4 million as advance payment to AstraZeneca for its COVID-19 vaccine.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso authorized the release of the funds on Friday (February 19). The amount is a 20 percent advance payment for 800,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.
Domagoso is also grateful that the government has allowed “local government units (LGUs) to fast-track the procurement process.”
The Government Procurement Reform Act only allows advance payment equivalent to only a maximum of 15 percent of the cost of government-financed projects. Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado called for the easing of this limitation earlier this month.
President Rodrigo Duterte subsequently signed a memorandum order increasing the limit for advanced payments for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Manila Mayor added that the vaccines are expected to arrive soon but reminded the public to continue following health protocols.
“Let’s keep practicing the health protocols mandated by the Department of Health and let’s keep refining our mass vaccination simulation exercises,” he said.
The Manila LGU has already put in place measures in preparation for its vaccination rollout. A website has been put up for registration where over 88,000 people have pre-registered for the COVID vaccine as of February 18.
A storage facility has also been inaugurated on top of regular mass vaccination simulation exercises. AAC
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.