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CHR concerned over arrest of PISTON drivers, lack of public transport

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Saturday expressed concern over the arrest of six PISTON drivers in Caloocan City after they allegedly protested against the ban on jeepney operations.

According to CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia, the drivers are in detention for the alleged violation of quarantine protocols.

"Jeepney drivers, and other members of the public transportation sector, continue to lose their source of income for at least two and a half months now since mass transportation in Metro Manila was suspended to control the spread of COVID-19," Guia said.

Guia further stressed that some of the drivers belong to the vulnerable sector most at risk for contracting the virus.

"[O]ne being 72 years old, and have preexisting health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes," she said.

The spokesperson also pointed out that it has received reports of commuters who were "left to fend for themselves" on their way to work or were "even forced to walk for miles."

Due to this, Guia called on the Philippine government to ensure a sufficient number of public transportation.

"We also echo the plea of the labor and trade departments enjoining employers to provide shuttle services for their workers and to shift to alternative work arrangements if applicable," Guia said. — DVM, GMA News