MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe- Llamanzares criticized the rollout of the service contracting program happening at a sluggish pace. The delay denies our public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and transport sector workers a decent income amid the pandemic.
Since the program was approved on Sept. 11, 2020 and earmarked with P5.58 billion under the Bayanihan 2 law, only P461.8 million has been disbursed to beneficiaries displaced from their livelihood because of the lockdown.
With the availability of all appropriations under Bayanihan 2 law only until June 30, 2021, the distribution of the assistance to the intended beneficiaries must be made within about a month, the senator stressed.
Unless the availability of the fund is extended, the billions of pesos, which could have eased the woes of our drivers without income, will just return to the government coffers.
We must not allow the bulk of the billion-peso fund to remain unspent while thousands of transport workers struggle to make ends meet, with some even forced to beg to feed their families.Sen. grace poe-llamanzares
The delay in the service contracting program is also slowing down opportunities for our drivers to have dignified sources of income and for our commuters to have comfortable and safe travels, she added.