With the COVID-19 pandemic still hanging over our heads, we are all doing what we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones. While some of us are more than lucky to be in the comforts of our own home, what we don’t realize is that most Filipinos are less privileged and are struggling to put food on the table – these are daily wage earners and people who have lost their jobs due to the crisis.
The pandemic has caused a lot of panic globally and, because of this, we tend to focus on our own survival while we forget to think of ways we could help others that are strongly affected as well.
Under the rules of the Enhanced Community Quarantine and the General Community Quarantine, jeeps are not allowed to fully operate. Jeeps are known as the “Hari ng Kalsada” in the Philippines and used to be found in every direction, no matter what city you are in. But right now, the number of jeeps roaming the streets is very limited. Even with the few jeeps operating, they only accommodate, at most, half the actual passenger capacity due to social distancing. This has had a big impact on the situation of the drivers, especially those on standby, as they are itching to return to the road and earn income for their own survival and their family’s.
Recently, Piston drivers have taken their sentiments to the streets and demanded solutions from the government. Six of them were arrested for allegedly violating social distancing protocols. They were sent to a crowded precinct where two of them were believed to have caught COVID-19. *Source: Rappler
Most of us may not have experienced the same things they did but having understood their background and the challenges that they’re facing, here are some ways we could help our fellow Filipino jeepney drivers bounce back:
Whether it’s food, clothes, or medicine, you can find many ways to donate these things. It could have a big impact in getting these families through these tough times. Piston, a group of drivers, is accepting donations. Learn how you can help them via their Twitter page here!
You can hire the jeeps for any delivery or heavy moving that you or your business needs to do. This gives them another opportunity to earn income while they aren’t allowed to operate in the new normal. You can book a Lalajeep, which was recently launched by Lalamove to help both the drivers and the customers, given that it’s a cheaper alternative to others.
Sign petitions to have these jeeps operate again with, of course, a set of rules to follow for the safety of the drivers and passengers. This would also help everyday commuters who have difficulties due to the limitations of public transportation. Check out this petition to have all jeeps and PUVs operate again!
Simply speak up for them. Be the voices of these people and help spread the reason that they, too, deserve support and income. Speak out and educate others about their current situation.
Now that you know their story and the different ways you could help, let’s all work together to bounce back from this global crisis.
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