The Pasig City government on Monday temporarily halted the distribution of financial assistance to some jeepney drivers after they violated social distancing measures.
According to Mariz Umali’s 24 Oras report, Pasig Police chief Police Colonel Moises Villaceran Jr. ordered a pause in the distribution of P4,000 in cash aid as some drivers were not observing precautionary measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"Ang iba kasi walang face mask, ang iba naman walang social distancing . At the same time, sino ang nagbigay ng authority na magkaroon ng mass gathering? Ang mali lang po doon 'yong method ng pagbibigay," Villaceran said.
Meanwhile, Volta Delos Santos, the head of the tricycle operation and regulation office, said the distribution was supposed to be by surname but the drivers did not follow the system.
"Napakaganda po sana ng sistema natin pero ang nangyari po eh dumagsa ang mga drivers at kahit pilitin na pumila ng maayos, mayroon pa ring mga 'di sumusunod. May mga dumagsa pa na dapat 'di pa sila ngayon pupunta," Delos Santos said.
He added that residents from Rizal have also gone to the city hall to ask for aid despite not being residents of Pasig.
"Mayroon ding nagpunta mula Taytay, Cainta at ibang bayan na kung puwede raw sila makakuha dahil napatira rin sila dito sa Pasig," Delos Santos said.
With the unfortunate news, some jeepney drivers went home empty-handed.
"Nakakapanlambot po dahil ine-expect mo na may mabibili ka na para sa pamilya mo tapos nawala pa," Orlando Billapando said.
"Talagang 'di maiwasan ang pagkakadikit-dikit ng mga tao dahil sobrang dami kasing gustong makakuha," Danilo Haraba added.
Authorities said the next schedule of distribution is yet to be announced. The distribution will also be conducted in alphabetical order for it to be organized.
Meanwhile, according to those jeepney drivers who were able to receive the cash aid, the money is already a big help to them if ever they do not receive the financial assistance under the national government's social amelioration program.
Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto earlier said the city government will spend over P55.5 million to provide cash aid for public transport drivers affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
The aid for the drivers is still different from the Department of Social Welfare and Development's social amelioration program.
Sotto said only 93,000 out of the over 200,000 beneficiaries that the city government hasd listed for the DSWD program had been approved.
With this, Sotto said, the city government will provide a “Pasig supplemental social amelioration program” to shoulder beneficiaries who were not approved by the DSWD.
He, however, clarified the amount will be different from the DSWD’s P8,000.
“Lahat po ng hindi mabibigyan doon sa listahan ng DSWD, sasaluhin po ng Pasig City, hindi sa buong halaga pero kung ano yung kaya ay ibibigay natin,” Sotto said. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/BM, GMA News