Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholars from the University of Rizal System organized a relief activity among the jeepney drivers in Rizal, June 27, DOST-Provincial Science and Technology Center Rizal, URS Antipolo Campus.

The beneficiaries of the relief activity were the 70 jeepney drivers from Luzon Eco Transport Services and Multi-Purpose Cooperative or LETSMPC. The drivers were among those affected by the community quarantine since March due to Covid 19 pandemic. Jeepney is prohibited as means of public transportation when the total lockdown was implemented in most areas of the country.

“Hirap nang walang biyahe. Karamihan, kung hindi lahat ng drivers namin, ay doon lang umaasa para (may) pantawid sa pang-araw-araw,” said by Mark Anthony Requita, president of JRC-Antipolo Operators and Drivers Association (JAODA) — subgroup of LETSMPC in an interview made by Tipolo Student Publication.

He also mentioned that they were not given a consistent supplementary aid nor subsidy from the local and national government during ECQ. Essential goods such as rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee, and biscuits were included in the relief packs. Snacks were also provided to ‘tsuper’ beneficiaries during the distribution.

“Para po sa inyo maliit na bagay lang ‘yan, pero para po sa amin ay napalaking tulong na po nitong ibinigay ninyo. Kahit papaano po ay naramdaman naming may pakialam sa amin ang ibang tao,” Requita emphasized during the turn-over of relief goods.

Many jeepney drivers who are desperately begging for help are over the news because they loss their source of income. It can be recalled that at the height of this issue, six jeepney drivers who were protesting against the government were brought to jail by police officers. Allegedly, the protesters violated the One Bayanihan Act because they were not observing social distancing as mandated by the protocol.

This scenario inspired the DOST scholars to plan for a relief operation. Cash and In-kind donations coming from both on-going and graduate DOST scholars were collected and utilized by the officers of URS DOST Scholars’ Society (URS DOST SS).

“The positive response from the scholars boosts our confidence to continue this activity. At first, many people doubted that we can do it, but step by step we manage to accomplish our vision which is to help our ‘Kababayans’ in any possible way we can, especially in these very trying times of health and economic crisis,” expressed by Ildefonso F. Tutor Jr., president of URS DOST Scholars’ Society.

Regie Dayrit, DOST-PSTC Rizal Science Specialist I, acknowledged the efforts of the scholars.

“Maganda itong ginawa ng mga bata, dahil sa simple nilang paraan nakatulong sila. Kahit alam nilang may pangangailangan sila, nakita parin nila na may mga taong mas may kailangan pa ng mga simpleng bagay na katulad nitong ipinamahagi nila,” Dayrit said.

The relief activity was an initiative of all the DOST scholars enrolled across the 10 URS Campuses led by URS DOST Scholars’ Society in collaboration with the alumni URS DOST scholars and in cooperation with the head and staff of DOST-PSTC Rizal. The scholars were also grateful that they were able to help the jeepney drivers on the least way they can.

“Nakakahawa yung ngiti at ligaya ng mga drivers nung matanggap nila yung munti naming tulong. Masarap sa pakiramdam na nakakatulong kahit pa simpe tao palang din kami. As scholars, we are expected to repay the favors given to us by the government and the whole Filipino nation. This is one simple way for us to contribute by extending our hands to Filipinos who greatly need our help and support. Asahan po nilang hindi dito matatapos ang pagsasabuhay namin bilang mga Iskolar ng Bayan at Iskolar para sa Bayan,” said by one of the scholars.

Meanwhile, the URS DOST SS relief operation strictly followed the minimum health standards required by the government in conducting activities like this. All attendees, including the DOST office personnel, scholars and Jeepney drivers wore their facemask, underwent a Temperature Check and disinfection at the Campus gate, and answered a Health Declaration Form mainly for contact tracing purposes before entering the university premises. Also, all attendees observed and practiced Social/Physical Distancing, with a minimum of 1.5 meters distance for each individual to another during the giving process.

URS DOST Scholars’ Society assures that this will not be the last time that the organization will offer assistance. They also encourage incoming Grade 12 students to take the DOST Scholarship Examination and soon be a Patriot Scholar for the Nation.#


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