Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, however, appealed to let tricycles continue operating in the city as stopping them would lead to danger in both the public health situation and lives of residents in his jurisdiction.
Twitter/Vico Sotto
'To be fare': Pasig rolls out P55-million assistance to PUV drivers
( - March 26, 2020 - 7:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto announced Thursday evening that he would be rolling out a financial assistance program worth P55 million for city public transport drivers affected by the suspension of operations during the quarantine.

According to the mayor, each jeepney, tricycle or UV express driver in Pasig City would be receiving P3,000 each in financial assistance amid the community quarantine. 

Distribution of the funds will start on Monday, March 30, he tweeted. 

READ: Told to stay home, Filipino poor go out to work absent government aid

Elsewhere, tricycles drivers are among many workers in the country's informal sector whose livelihoods have been cut off due to the enhanced community quarantine. 

Earlier, the Pasig mayor was vocal about patients in the city who were unable to receive medical attention due to the ban on public transportation, asking the government to allow tricycles in the city to transport health workers and patients alike.

“What would happen if health workers can’t ride anything and thousands of patients need treatment? Would we rather let senior citizens walk five kilometers for dialysis? Cancer patients who recently had surgery?” the mayor said in a statement.

He was told by the Department of Interior and Local Government to "be more creative" with his approach to moving residents around the city.

Malacañang also snubbed Sotto's proposal later on, saying that social distancing would not be possible in motorcycles and tricycles. This, despite also allowing e-vehicles, which include e-tricycles, in Manila City.

The Palace said e-vehicles did not fall under the category of public transportation because they were exclusively used for health workers. 

READ: DILG on Vico Sotto's appeal to exempt trikes: Be more creative in dealing with COVID-19

Commuter advocacy group AltMobility PH in an open letter issued on Wednesday night also appealed for the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to consider allowing public utility vehicles to operate in a limited capacity.

"People need to go to the market to buy food, to the pharmacies to buy medicine, and to the hospital to get operated on. How can the pregnant get to the hospital to give birth and the elderly get dialysis  if we don't have public transportation?" the letter read in Filipino. 

READ: Commuter group hopes for limited PUV operations instead of transport ban

Franco Luna 

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