August 28, 2020
Antipolo Relief Operation for Jeepney Drivers
By Daniel Lazar
On Sunday, August 23, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, Rizal, the Tzu Chi Foundation conducted a relief operation aimed at assisting more than 800 Jeepney drivers who have been out of work since March of this year. This was mainly in response to how may Jeepney drivers have taken to begging and asking passing motorists for donations. As they have no means of supporting themselves and their families, The Tzu Chi Foundation decided to take action.
At the Ynares Center, a drive thru system was implemented for the more than a hundred Jeepneys that came with 3-5 drivers in each Jeep. Using identity cards with QR Codes, Tzu Chi volunteers checked each coupon, which enables the drivers to receive more relief aid in September and October, and loaded 20 kilos of rice, cooking oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt, vinegar, noodles, soap and other essential goods.
The 27 Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (JODA) groups that these Jeepney drivers belong to were very grateful for the latest Tzu Chi relief project to help those drivers who lost their means of earning, since the start of the ECQ in March. While some have been able to get by, others like Cloro, have been hard hit by the pandemic.
“I’ve been a Jeepney driver for 35 years,” he said “I have never been in this situation before. I don’t have a house anymore. I live in the back of my Jeep.” Now in his mid-60s, Cloro is one of the drivers who is in dire need of aid. He was very grateful to the Tzu Chi Foundation and anything he gets will be of great help.
With the help of local government officials and volunteers, Tzu Chi volunteers helped more than 800 Jeepney drivers receive much needed relief goods to help them through these difficult times. While this was the first operation conducted by the Tzu Chi Foundation, aimed at helping Jeepney drivers in need, there will be more such operations in September and October of this year.