“It was a very difficult time for all of us jeepney drivers, and this was our initial response – to beg on the streets because we could not think of any other way to sustain the needs of our family in this time of crisis,” says Medel.
For almost 30 years, working on the streets of Metro Manila has been Mang Medel Mercado’s source of income. He was living in an apartment with his four high school children whom he needs to feed and provide with their needs. “It’s really hard that though I am not earning now, still I had to pay for the rent, as well as electric and water bills.. My children will stop schooling for now, I don’t want them to catch the virus. It is better if they will just stay at home,” shared Medel.
“I am praying every night regarding our situation. I am so worried that sooner, the government might phase us out of the road. I don’t know any alternative jobs other than driving a jeep. But I knew I must cope. Maybe I could use the financial assistance from the government to start something, “lugaw lugaw siguro pwede na muna ‘yon” (selling porridge might do).
Operation Blessing responded to the plea of several jeepney drivers in Caloocan, food bags that will surely help their families cope with a week of supply.
Medel could not hold his tears, with a shaky voice he just uttered, “Thank you Operation Blessing, this was a great help to us. Please continue to send aid, help other Filipino jeepney drivers in need.”
Jeepney drivers have been our daily partners in our transportation needs. Now, they are calling our attention to help them cope in this time of crisis. ARE you the one whom they can count on? Visit https://obphil.com/onestepahead/ to know how to support our campaign that caters to the needs of our jobless kababayans.