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Poe endorses more subsidy and protection for PUV drivers

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Grace Poe on Monday reiterated her appeal for the grant of subsidy and protection to public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers who were allowed to operate under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

Senator Grace Poe (Senator Grace Poe's Official Facebook Page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Grace Poe (Senator Grace Poe’s Official Facebook Page / MANILA BULLETIN)

The chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services said “adequate” safeguards and support should be put in place for PUV drivers who will return to the roads under the reduced capacity rules.

“As social distancing is enforced, the government should provide our PUV drivers fuel and livelihood subsidy to make up for the expected decrease in their take-home income,” Poe said in a statement.

“It is lamentable that until now, a number of families of PUV drivers have yet to receive the promised cash aid close to two months since the lockdown. We reiterate our call to speed up the release of the assistance since they are clearly among the sectors in need and without means of living if they are not allowed to go out,” she added.

Poe also proposed to the government to include PUV drivers in the mandatory testing for COVID-19 to also protect them and the commuters from the disease.

“As warriors in this pandemic, our PUV drivers are also putting themselves on the frontline to rush to our side and keep the economy moving,” she pointed out.

“We owe it to them that after every trip at the end of the day, they return to their families safely and not shortchanged,” she further said.

Mass transportation have resumed in areas that are placed under the GCQ, or those that are moderate or low risk for COVID-19 spread, beginning May 1.

The Department of Transportation, however, said they should operate at reduced capacity and in compliance with health safety measures, such as physical distancing and the mandatory use of face masks drivers and passengers, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Transport groups, however, have complained about the new rule of carrying only 50 percent of their passengers, saying it would affect their income. They appealed for continued assistance from the government.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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