Amid oil price hikes, jeepney drivers get aid from community pantry

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2022 05:07 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2022 12:11 PM

Jeepney drivers get food aid from Balai Obrero Foundation and the Maginhawa community pantry to ease their troubles amid oil price hikes. Photo courtesy: Ana Patricia Non
Jeepney drivers get food aid from Balai Obrero Foundation and the Maginhawa community pantry to ease their troubles amid oil price hikes. Photo courtesy: Ana Patricia Non

MANILA — Amid skyrocketing oil prices, some drivers of public utility vehicles and delivery riders were given food aid by the people who created the Maginhawa community pantry initiative.

In a Facebook post, community pantry creator Ana Patricia Non said she gave out food and other relief goods for drivers affected by consecutive oil price hikes.

“Simula pa lang ng pandemic sila na ang unang apektado dahil sa mga tigil pasada nung lockdowns,” Non said.

[Since the pandemic stated, it was the drivers who were greatly affected by the suspension of public transportation due to the lockdowns.]

“Nagkaroon pa ng mga requirements para sa safety protocols ng mass transports katulad ng mga plastic dividers na nakadagdag sa kanilang gastusin. Ngayon pa lang bumabalik sa normal pero andyan naman yung pagtataas ng gas,” she added.

[Mass transport were given safety protocol requirements such as plastic dividers, which resulted in additional expenses on their part. And now, just as they were slowly going back to normal, they now face the problem of oil price hikes.]

Non partnered with a non-governmental organization (NGO), Balai Obrero Foundation, to distribute the food aid to their driver-beneficiaries.

Based on her interactions with people who come to the Maginhawa community pantry, she said that the P1,000 to P4,000 cash aid they received were not enough for their needs due to the high prices of basic commodities.

This, she said, is the reason why she believes that the government’s current P200 monthly aid per family is not enough.

“Lumalabas po na 6 pesos lang yun kada araw at di man aabot sa 9 pesos na minimum na pamasahe,” Non added.

[Based on that aid, it would turn out that each family only has P6 per day, which does not even meet the P9 minimum jeepney fare.]

In another Facebook post, Non noted that her community pantry initiative still continues, almost a year since she launched the project. 

Non first gained renown when she launched the Maginhawa community pantry in Quezon City in 2021, amid the lockdowns implemented by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative created a snowball effect and inspired other groups in the country to do their own pantries in their localities. 

Since then, there have reportedly been more than 300 community pantries in the Philippines.

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