Tom’s promised AID: 1 sack of rice Habal, Angkas drivers to get aid in January if ..
At least 6,000 registered habal-habal or motorcycle-for-hire and Angkas drivers from Cebu City will receive their promised one sack of rice assistance from the city government in January next year if things will go as planned.
This will include the approval from the Department of Agriculture (DA) to allow the Cebu City government to purchase at least 10,000 sacks of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA).
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said that the city government would send the letter seeking the DA’s approval for the purchase of the rice.
“We’ll send the letter as soon as possible because our drivers badly need the help,” said Osmeña in a press briefing after the Angkas Mass held at the Cebu City Sports Complex where at least 6,000 motorcycle drivers gathered to show solidarity with the recently suspended motorcycle-hailing app on Sunday morning.
During the press briefing, Osmeña shared his plans and his determination to keep his promise of a sack of rice for each registered Cebu City motorcycle-for-hire and Angkas driver.
Annabeth Cuizon, Cebu City’s assistant city administrator, said in the press briefing that the DA’s approval would be needed because the NFA could not accept orders of such large quantities without the approval of the central office.
“Among others, we are also requesting the NFA that we would like to stock the rice at their bodega so we can simply use coupons for verified drivers. This will be convenient for transporting the rice,” said Cuizon.
Cuizon said that the rice would be expected to be distributed early in January upon the approval of the Department of Agriculture.
Osmeña said that if the NFA would refuse to sell the rice, then Cebu City would have to look for bidders from suppliers of rice.
He said that only those registered drivers, who are residents of Cebu City, could avail of the rice subsidy.
Malou Tabar, Cebu City’s public information officer, said earlier that there were 6,500 registered habal-habal and Angkas drivers from Cebu City.
The city government had allocated a P15 million budget from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) fund for the rice subsidy.
Osmeña said that he hoped that the gathering of more than 6,000 Angkas drivers in the Cebu City Sports Complex grandstand showed the solidarity of the motorcycle-taxi drivers and their commitment to safe and fast public transportation.
He also condemned the suspension of Angkas following the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued on Angkas operations by the High Court based on the petition filed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
LTFRB said that Angkas should secure a congressional franchise before it could operate.
Osmeña also hoped that the gathering of the different Angkas riders would reach the national government and inspire the Congress to create legislation in favor of Angkas.
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