BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Several drivers in the cities of Bacolod and San Carlos have received cash assistance from their respective local government units.
At least 47 motorcab and pedicab drivers in San Carlos received P470,000 in cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), with Mayor Renato Gustilo and Cynthia Mirande, City Social Welfare and Development officer, leading the rites at City Hall yesterday.
Each driver received P10,000 cash aid as livelihood support amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gustilo said it was under DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Project that aims to help the vulnerable sector affected by the crisis.
The mayor asked the drivers to make use of the assistance because a small business, if nurtured and managed well, could grow big and help their family.
Mirande said the 47 families were identified by their respective barangays as low-income earners and previous beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program, adding that the one-time grant of P10,000 each will be used as start-up capital for their businesses.
She said the beneficiaries were trained last month on how to put up a good livelihood project and make it, earn, adding that DSWD will monitor their progress.
Meanwhile, the 96 public utility jeepney drivers who have worked for two days under the “Libre Sakay” program of the Bacolod City government received their service fee of P3,000 each from Mayor Evelio Leonardia on Tuesday.
The money for the service fee for two days, worth P288,000, was donated by friends and supporters of the mayor, the press release from the city government said.
The city government shouldered the service fee of the drivers starting yesterday after completing some requirements.
The service fee was distributed to the drivers by personnel of the DSSD on Tuesday afternoon.
The “Libre Sakay” program started Monday.
For each day under the program, there will be 48 drivers plying the city to service medical and healthcare workers and essential services workers.
The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office has assigned seven point-to-point jeepney routes. Each driver is expected to ply 10 roundtrips per day along with one assigned route.
Seven take-off points were set in barangays Granada, Estefania, Bata, Banago, Sum-ag, Handumanan, and Mansilingan, with 10 departure times from each take-off point, starting 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., while the central drop-off is at the Bacolod City Public Plaza.
Every day, the transport groups will choose the 48 drivers for that day.
Leonardia said the “Libre Sakay” is a program of the city government to address the suspension of public transportation in Bacolod after it was under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine from September 8 to 30.
Public transport is not allowed in areas under MECQ.*