More than 6,000 drivers, operators, conductors, and allied transport workers are expected to benefit from the “enTSUPERneur Program,” jointly launched by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), led by their respective heads, Secretary Art Tugade and Secretary Bebot Bello III, on Tuesday as the government bids to ensure the welfare of all stakeholders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
An initial Php200 million funding was allocated under the DOTr’s 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the program. Said funding will be downloaded to the DOLE to implement the joint initiative under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).
Launched under the Stakeholder Support Mechanism Component of the PUVMP, the program intends to provide livelihood assistance for drivers, operators, and other PUVMP transport members by way of entrepreneurial-related training, business management orientation, micro-insurance, monitoring activities, and business capital to provide them with new and other livelihoods, especially during this pandemic.
Each beneficiary can receive a capital package amounting to Php30,000 for individual projects, while a maximum amount of Php 1 million can be awarded for group projects, depending on the project requirement.
During the launch, which was also spearheaded by Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin B. Delgra III and Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) Chairman Eugene M. Pabualan, and other key DOTr and DOLE officials, Tugade praised the initiative and called it a “golden opportunity” for transport sector workers to uplift their lives.
“Kaisa ninyo ako, nanggaling ako sa wala, kaya nga bat ang mga programang ganito ay pinagtutulukan ko. Pagkat ito ay isang magandang oportunidad, golden opportunity ika nga, na kung saan yung wala, yung kapos sa buhay ay magkakaroon ng magandang opprtunidad upang mapabago ang kanyang buhay,” said Tugade.
For his part, Secretary Bello said that he is “very positive that this partnership will be instrumental in improving the economic conditions and welfare of the workers in the transport sector.”
The enTSUPERneur Program further boosts the DOTr’s campaign to ensure that no stakeholder will be left behind as we move towards modernization. It will be implemented along with the Tsuper Iskolar Program, which is a collaboration between the DOTr and the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) that provides free skills training and allowances to transport workers or their relatives who were affected by the implementation of the PUVMP.