‘Lumabas si Kim Chiu’: Jeepney drivers receive relief packs from Chinita Princess

June 23, 2020 - 5:29 PM
In this June 23, 2020 composite photo, Kapamilya actress Kim Chiu was seen handing out her donations to struggling jeepney drivers. (Twitter/Pistonph)

Kapamilya actress Kim Chiu on Tuesday herself gave out aid to public utility jeep drivers in Caloocan City.

In a series of tweets, transport rights group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide or PISTON said Chiu’s team helped the drivers of Monumento-Baclaran-Avenida, Monumento- Polo, Monumento- Acacia and Monumento-Sangandaan routes.

Chiu’s aid came weeks after the group called for donations either in-kind or cash to help jeepney drivers whose livelihoods were affected by the government-imposed community quarantine in March.

The government banned traditional jeeps from plying the roads of Metro Manila since March.

When it placed the National Capital Region under general community quarantine last June 1, the Department of Transportation said the only public vehicles allowed are shuttle services and point-to-point or P2P buses; taxis and transport network vehicle services (TNVS) such as Grab Philippines as well as bicycles and limited tricycles.

For Phase 2, which began on June 22, additional public utility vehicles such as public utility buses, modern public utility vehicles and UV express were also permitted to operate. However, traditional jeepneys remained banned.

RELATED: A guide to available modes of mass transport units for areas under GCQ

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said the government will only consider deploying of traditional jeepneys if they see a demand for it.

“Hihintayin ang full deployment ng modern PUVs bago ang UV Express. Once fully deployed at kulang pa rin ang supply, we will consider deploying traditional jeepneys,” Roque said.

The continued ban on traditional jeepneys prompted some drivers to resort to asking alms on the roads. Among the jeepney drivers begging for help are from Caloocan City, Manila and the University of the Philippine in Quezon City.

In this June 20, 2020 photo, some drivers in Sangandaan, Caloocan were seen asking for donations. (Interaksyon/Rosette Adel)

Early this month, six jeepney drivers dubbed “Piston 6” were arrested for protesting for their livelihood.

Several personalities rallied behind them to help bail them out.

READ: Bar 2019 topnotcher offers help to free 6 detained jeepney drivers

Meanwhile, Chiu’s gesture earned praises from netizens.

Piston likewise thanked Chiu for personally handing out donations to the struggling jeepney drivers.

“Muli ay nagpapasalamat ang mga tsuper kay Miss Kim Chiu@prinsesachinita para sa kanyang walang sawang suporta,” PISTON said.

“Bukod dito ay nagpapatuloy pa rin ang ating panawagan para muling pabalikin sa pamamasada ang mga jeep. para sa kanyang walang sawang suporta. Bukod dito ay nagpapatuloy pa rin ang ating panawagan para muling pabalikin sa pamamasada ang mga jeep,” it added.