August 30, 2020
Marikina Relief Operation for Jeepney Drivers
By Daniel Lazar
During the early morning of Sunday, August 30, over 60 Tzu Chi volunteers & 77 Marikina City Government volunteers joined hands in providing assistance to 829 Jeepney drivers of Marikina City by distributing rice, soy sauce, vinegar, cooking oil and other daily essentials. Having lost their livelihood due to the ongoing pandemic, Jeepney drivers are in dire need of support to help their families.
As a result, the local government was grateful that the Tzu Chi Foundation continues to help the residents of Marikina in the same way they did during the time of Typhoon Ondoy back in 2009. Vice Mayor of Marikina City, Dr. Marion Andres expressed his gratitude to the Tzu Chi Foundation.
“You have given hope to our drivers because it has been months since they’ve had any income and we are happy that Tzu Chi is able to assist them. That’s why we are so grateful. Tzu Chi volunteers are hardworking, especially during calamities, and the Tzu Chi Foundation continues to be a great help to the people of the Philippines.”
Over 800 Jeepney drivers received goods from this Tzu Chi relief operation, and Dr. Andres noted how “Tzu Chi has given hope to our drivers, as they have been really hard hit by this pandemic, and they have not been able to provide a livelihood for their families for several months.”
As such, Marikina City Councilor, Manuel Sarmiento added that “the city has also been working hand-in-hand with the local government to help the Jeepney drivers during this difficult period.”
And it has been a tremendously difficult period indeed, as almost all Jeepney drivers have been out of work since the beginning of the ECQ, which started earlier this year in March.
Henry Del Mundo has been a Jeepney driver for 28 years, and has had a difficult time supporting his family during this period. “I am very grateful to the Tzu Chi Foundation,” he said, “these provisions will be a great help to my family. Thank you, Tzu Chi.”
With more relief operations to follow throughout Metro Manila in the coming weeks, the Tzu Chi Foundation will be working closely with local officials to help alleviate the hardships faced by our Jeepney drivers.