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Distribution of aid to 400,000 PUV drivers across country ‘slow’ —LTFRB chair


The distribution of cash assistance for thousands of affected public utility drivers across the country amid lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic is slow, according to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra III on Monday.

During a Senate hearing conducted by the committee on public services, Delgra explained that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) requested a list of all PUV drivers nationwide from the LTFRB for the identification of beneficiaries.

"'Yung submission namin sa DSWD will be around 435,000. Kasama po TNVS, bus, shuttle service, school service, PUJ, taxi," Delgra said.

"Marami pang hindi nakatanggap at if I may say, mabagal din ang pagbibigay," he added.

Further, he said, drivers of motorcycle taxis have also been included in the said list. Tricycle drivers, on the other hand, were not.

"In so far as LTFRB is concerned, wala po kaming database ng mga TODA, sa mga tricycle drivers po," Delgra said, noting that tricycles are under the jurisdiction of local government units.

Delgra explained that the names they submitted to the DSWD go through a rigorous validation process before landing on the final payroll for assistance.

To fast-track the distribution of the cash aid for this sector, he said the LTFRB and DSWD entered a memorandum of agreement with GCash.

"It will just go directly to what you call a GCash account. 'Yan ang gusto nating mangyari para mapabilis ang pagbibigay ng ayuda," he said.

According to President Rodrigo Duterte's 7th report to Congress on May 11, there were 40,418 TNVS and PUV drivers in Metro Manila who received cash assistance worth a total of P323.3 million, almost eight weeks into the enhanced community quarantine.

The number of target beneficiaries of the total P720 million in cash assistance for the transport sector in this region is 90,000.

"The DSWD has already informed all local chief executives that the next payout for the TNVS and PUVs in the NCR will be released this week," the report read.

"Tricycle and pedicab drivers are already included in the target beneficiaries of the DSWD," it added.

Aside from Metro Manila, other parts of Luzon were also placed under ECQ since March 17. Mass transportation has likewise been suspended there but updates on the distribution of cash assistance for drivers outside the capital region was not indicated in the breakdown of social amelioration programs in Duterte's latest report. — BM, GMA News

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