LTFRB-13 chief calls on employers to provide temporary shelter, assistance to workers
BUTUAN CITY, April 12 (PIA) — Due to tight implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the entire Caraga region, operation of the public utility vehicles was temporarily suspended.
Kristina Cassion, OIC reguonal director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Caraga, bared that effective April 8, the agency implemented the suspension of operation of the public transportation in the region.
However, several private establishments including government agencies in the region are still operating in order to cater and accommodate the locals on their basic necessities and services, and other essentials. Hence, their workers are also affected particularly those who are far from their workplaces.
She then asked other government agencies and private establishments still operating to also provide assistance to their personnel, which include shuttle services for them as they continue to do their functions or may also provide a temporary shelter so it would not be hard enough for them to travel to and from their houses to their respective workplaces.
The LTFRB also provides free shuttle services intended for the frontliners and health workers. “Prior to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, we have prepared a contingency plan to ensure that the health workers in Butuan City and parts of Agusan del Norte would be able to work in the health facilities, hence, we provided shuttle buses with corresponding routes in a day,” she cited.
She expressed hope that the “Libreng Sakay” Program to support the transportation of the health personnel will be operational by next week because it entails big resources like the need of fuel, meals and personal protective equipment (PPEs) of the drivers and conductors. She said they are planning to field 17 routes with 40 total number of units.
She also asked the management of the health facilities as partner to help and provide meals to the conductors and drivers, as well as the provision of a personal protective gears for them.
Cassion also ensured the transport sector that they will be given assistance amid this crisis situation on coronavirus disease (COVID-19). “We are hoping that by next week, they will start receiving the cash assistance for them once needed requirements and documents will be completed. We are also closely coordinating with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and cooperatives for any possible help that they could provide,” she said.
On this crisis situation on COVID-19, Dir. Cassion further emphasized the need to unite with all the stakeholders in addressing the needs of the vulnerable sectors in the region. She further asked the government officials to allocate a portion of their salary to help others.
Meanwhile, Jose Evalegous Lawenko, chairperson of Diamond Transport Service Cooperative (DATSCO) also expressed his concern with the affected drivers and conductors who are currently jobless due to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the region.
“We are calling on the concerned government agencies and private stakeholders to include the transport sector in the assistance that they provide, which could be in kind or in cash to help them cope with this crisis,” underscored Lawenko. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)