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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Jeepney Driver Sells Books In Manila To Earn During Pandemic

Jeepney Driver, Coronavirus Pandemic

In the Philippines, the General Community Quarantine or GCQ is still in effect in many cities such as Metro Manila. The transport restrictions were lifted in other routes where jeepneys go from one point to another. But some routes were still restricted and some jeepney drivers are not allowed to drive for a fare. This led to emotionally draining scenes on the streets where our jeepney drivers beg just to get by and make ends meet. One of these drivers is Mang June, he said that for months he did not drive for a fare. At the time of writing, he is on the Manila-Makati archway border also selling books as well. 

Mang June's route was the Makati Loop service(Puregold Delpan to Glorietta Makati). This route is currently restricted and for half a year a time of writing no trips was made in that area. Other routes were opened and other jeepney drivers were allowed to drive for a fare once again. Mang June noted that some Good Samaritans decided to leave books for him to sell. At the time of writing, he is accompanied by other jeepney drivers who for years drive with him to the same route. 

Jeepney, Driver, Books

The one who submitted these photos on IFY Bookstore Official Page noted that Mang June tried to sell pocketbooks for approx 20 to 50 pesos and he is positioned in an area with many pedestrians and passengers. The one who submitted the photos also said that Mang June is currently asking for books that he can sell to get by. 

Jeepneys were one of the cheapest modes of transportation here in the Philippines, introduced in the Post War Era, early versions of jeeps were war surplus and it is dubbed as the 'Hari ng Kalsada' or King of the Road here in the Philippines. The King of the Road was put into slumber because of the looming threat of COVID-19 since the community quarantines were put to effect. 

Jeepney Driver, Begging

The Philippines is the country with the longest lockdown period in Southeast Asia. With more than 300,000 recorded cases in the country, restrictions were implemented by IATF or Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19. Public transports were allowed in other routes and in every public utility vehicle, face shields and face masks should be worn so that passengers so they will be allowed to ride and take a trip to another destination.  

In the case of jeeps or jeepneys, the operators should put thick cellophane plastic covers in accordance with the one-meter rule of social distancing. This lead to fewer passengers was allowed inside the jeepney in order to contain community transmission in public transportation. In the case of buses, social distancing measures were also implemented such as the one-meter rule, and some seats are not meant to be occupied. 

To those who are reading this article and currently situated in Makati or Manila or any nearby cities, you can give Mang Jun and other drivers in that area additional books so that they can add money to bring their families during these trying times. The one who also submitted the photos is also urging other booksellers to donate excess copies of their books. 

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