Jeepney Drivers have appealed to the Philippine government to allow them to resume operation, but the government had only allowed selected routes. As a result of that, many of the Jeepney Drivers resorted to begging on the streets of Manila, and many of us saw it first-hand. That is why Arriana Pabalate decided to start this independent fundraiser.
“Manong, Para! Para Sa’yo – Isang Operasyong Bayanihan – Ayuda Para Sa Mga Tsuper” started when she saw the news last June 2020, and have witnessed numerous jeepney drivers asking and requesting for help in monetary and in-kind donations. This was heartbreaking and made her firm with the decision in helping them. She had interviewed some of our Jeepney Drivers in Metro Manila, and their common grounds were they were all in need of food. They had also said that in almost four (4) months of lockdown, they did not receive any financial or in-kind assistance from the government. They had also mentioned that they are sleeping in their jeepneys whether rented or owned, yet at the same time, had no capacity for their day by day costs.
The current pandemic situation is already hard for them, especially not every one of them has extra money to accommodate their families. The Jeepney Drivers also need to live, and to finance their families. They wanted to go back to driving especially their debts now are piling up for months.
Arriana Pabalate tagged along a friend to start raising funds for them. They had shared this story on their personal social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram stories, and Twitter). Hours passed by, and they noticed that a lot of people began sharing their Facebook posts and their Twitter thread got a ton of interactions.
Arriana had received a lot of messages and support from people all over the world. On July 11, 2020, they had successfully provided 300 Jeepney Drivers and their families relief packs consisting of Grocery Items, Rice, Vegetables, Bread, and Hygiene Kits. Be that as it may, after conversing with the Jeepney Drivers and the messages they received, there were still Jeepney Drivers asking for help in various regions. Some of them are from provinces and are currently sleeping inside their jeepneys. It is painful to see someone honest and hardworking like our jeepney drivers, relying on someone’s spare change to buy their next meal just because their opportunity has been cut down.
Arriana and her team has decided to continue this project for the sake of our everyday companion, our Manong Drivers. The Second Wave of Distribution for 250 Jeepney Drivers will be on Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, 2020. For routes of MCU – Pasay Rotonda, Monumento – Baclaran, Makati Loop, Guadalupe – Leon Guinto, Lealtad – Quiapo, and Sangandaan.
Manong, Para! Para Sa’yo is an independent fundraiser that supports Jeepney drivers and their families by distributing Relief Packs that can help them survive this pandemic.