MANILA - Some P5.58 billion funding under the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or “Bayanihan 2" will give assistance to displaced public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers through service contract agreements, a transportation official said Thursday.
Under the scheme, bus and jeepney drivers are paid by the government as public transit operates at a reduced capacity because of physical distancing measures, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra III told ANC.
"We know that they have been out of work for several months, and even if they have gone back to plying the routes given to them, they still have difficulty in terms of earning considering the pressure on social distancing," he said.
"As a result, you have reduced capacity and as a consequence, lower income on their part."
Service contracting will also ensure continuous service for commuters, he said.
"We will be able to ensure commuters that PUJs, for example, will be able to run their routes more predictably and more reliably," Delgra added.
Thousands of coronavirus-battered bus and jeepney drivers are set to benefit from the program, which will start once President Rodrigo Duterte signs the Bayanihan 2 bill.
Delgra said they had yet to finalize on how the PUV drivers will be paid such as the number of hours they operate in a day.
Road crash incidents are also being considered as a parameter in determining payment for their services, he said.
Sen. Grace Poe earlier said the funding would be used to provide temporary livelihood to displaced PUV drivers through "service contracting," regardless of quarantine levels.
Of the amount, P3 billion has been set aside for jeepney drivers and P2.58 billion for other PUV drivers.
"We agreed to provide the much-needed support to displaced workers in the transport sector, particularly when it comes to contracting vehicles by the government. So, that will be a big portion of the funding," Poe had said.