DAVAO CITY: The office of First District Rep. Paolo Duterte distributed food packs to 137 public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers in Barangay Catalunan Grande 32 persons with disabilities (PWDs), among others in Barangay 28A of this city.
The PUJ drivers, PWDs, single mothers, and indigents are a priority of the lawmaker, as they are the most affected by the quarantine measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Duterte’s representative James Vergara said the distribution of food packs focused on the “poorest of the poor” from all 54 villages of the first district. The office also echoed Duterte’s call for the public to observe anti-virus measures.
Wilfred Añoza, a PUJ driver and chairman of the board for Catagrande Transport Service Cooperative (Catransco), said most of the jeepney drivers, not only in Catalunan Grande, have been greatly affected by the lockdowns
Añoza said he was grateful for all the help given by Duterte to the drivers and to those who need assistance, adding the food packs given to drivers help address the basic needs of their families.
Catransco manager Nestor Navasca, a PUJ driver, said the lawmaker has been distributing food packs to PUJ drivers and tricycle drivers since the lockdown.
Catransco has around 60 units, 30 to 40 operators, and 137 drivers including those PUJ renters. Navasca added that rent cost P700 per day prior to the crisis, but this had gone to P300 per day.
The 137 drivers in Catalunan Grande, meanwhile, availed of the “Accident Death and Disablement Benefit” courtesy of Coco Life Insurance through Dumper party-list Rep. Claudine Diana Bautista.
Bautista’s executive assistant John Philipp Garabato, in a separate interview, said they would be giving P10,000 worth of insurance to 5,000 drivers in the first district; 2,000 drivers in the second district; and 2,000 drivers in the third district.