By Zaldy De Layola

(File photo)

MANILA – An official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday assured ready assistance to jeepney drivers who may be affected by the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) next year.

DSWD Program Management Bureau (PMB) Director Miramel Laxa said the affected drivers may avail of the DSWD’s programs and services for individuals in crisis situation.

“It is possible that they can avail of AICS (Assistance in Crisis Situation) since they can be categorized as in crisis,” Laxa said in a statement.

While the AICS program can assist the drivers, Laxa clarified that it would just be a one-time assistance.

The AICS is among the programs of the DSWD that serves as a stop-gap measure by providing immediate and temporary aid to individuals and families undergoing crisis based on the assessment of social workers.

“Availing of AICS can help them meet their basic needs through different forms of assistance such as food, and cash aid, among others,” Laxa said.

She said it would be better if affected drivers could also be considered for livelihood programs and grants being offered by other government agencies.

Laxa emphasized the need for the provision of sustainable services and programs to help them cope with the possible loss of their jobs.

The PUVMP seeks to replace old PUVs, including traditional jeepneys, with modern ones beginning January 2024. (PNA)