Jeepney drivers who will be affected by the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) next year may avail of the programs and services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), an agency official said on Friday (December 29).
DSWD Program Management Bureau (PMB) Director Miramel Laxa shared her insight as a social worker saying that drivers, who may experience a crisis when the PUVMP or Jeepney Modernization Program is implemented, are eligible to avail of the programs and services of the Department.
“It is possible that they can avail of AICS since they can be categorized as in crisis,” Director Laxa said.
The Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation or AICS is among the programs of the DSWD that serves as a stop-gap measure by providing immediate and temporary aid to individuals and families who are undergoing crisis based on the assessment of social workers.
“Availing of AICS can help them meet their basic needs through different forms of assistance such as food, and cash aid, among others,” Director Laxa pointed out.
While the AICS program can assist the drivers, it is just a one-time assistance, according to Director Laxa, who underscored the importance of providing them with livelihood aid or grants, considering that they may lose their source of income.
“It would be better to also consider them for livelihood programs and grants offered by different government agencies,” the DSWD director said.
Director Laxa further emphasized the need for the provision of sustainable services and programs to help them cope with the possible loss of their jobs.
The PMB director reiterated that as the lead social protection agency, the DSWD is ready to assist the vulnerable sectors, including the drivers, to help them cope and improve their well-being amid crisis.
The PUVMP seeks to replace old PUVs, including jeepneys, with modern ones beginning January 2024.