Drivers’ groups hail Manila mayor

March 25, 2020
MAYOR Isko Moreno praised by jeepney drivers for his immediate action to help them.  Photo by JERRY S. TAN

THE country’s two biggest public transport organizations praised Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for immediately coming to the aid of drivers who were displaced by the national government’s suspension of their operations, as they called on other local government units to emulate Moreno.

Moreno announced that the city government, with the assistance of Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and Manila social welfare chief Re Fugoso, has already delivered at least 39,000 food packs to the most affected sectors.

City residents were also assured of aid. Social welfare chief Fugoso told Manilans they will also receive their share and appealed for understanding and patience given the city government’s limited manpower.

During a television interview yesterday, Obet Martin, president of Pasang Masda, and Zeny Maranan, who heads the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers’Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), commended Moreno for immediately calling them to a meeting where he asked for a list of their members and then ordered Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) chief Dennis Viaje to use his traffic enforcers and staff to deliver rice to the affected drivers.

Viaje said 25 kilos of rice each were delivered to the homes of the drivers beginning the following day, and as of this writing, they were also delivering rice to pedicab drivers.

Moreno, according to Martin, told them that he is aware of how drivers live on a day to day basis.

The mayor also once again appealed to Manilans to heed the home quarantine and curfew regulations saying this is for their own good and that of their family.

He said that as of 5 p.m. of March 24, Manila’s confirmed coronavirus cases had reached 30 after 17 new ones were diagnosed.