When the virus outbreak happened in Singapore, taxi and PHV drivers watched on helplessly as their earnings plummet.
And unlike individuals who are employed full-time, these drivers have to depend on daily earnings to pay for their rental, petrol and food.
A 40% Drop in Earnings
On 10 Feb 2020, Todayonline ran an article on drivers in Singapore.
Besides the fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus (as they ferry many people around within a single day), they’re also afraid of losing their jobs.
Drivers reported seeing a drop in their earnings as compared to before the outbreak.
A couple of factors contributed to it, including a drop in visitor arrivals, lesser passengers and more.
The loss is estimated to be between twenty and forty per cent. Drivers are struggling to keep up with petrol and rental costs.
PHV & Taxi Drivers To Get Assistance
And now, three days later, there is good news for the drivers.
On 13 Feb 2020, it was reported that drivers are able to tap into a 77 million package to tide over this difficult period.
From 14 Feb 2020 (Friday), eligible drivers will be given $20 relief per day for the next three months.
Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day, let’s show our drivers some love.
Currently, about 40,000 drivers are eligible for the fund.
Main taxi hirers (people who rent direct from taxi companies) will automatically get $20 added to their hiring account daily.
PHV drivers, on the other hand, must have completed at least 200 trips from Oct to Dec 2019 to be eligible for the aid package.
PHV drivers have to apply for the fund through their companies. Information about how to apply for the fund will be made available to the drivers next week.
What If I Didn’t?
If you’re a PHV driver and you didn’t complete the required number of trips, then how?
Don’t worry because there’s a separate fund worth $2.7 million to help active drivers.
This fund will be administered by the trade union NTUC.
Remember To Wash Your Hands
Ever since the DORSCON alert level has shifted to orange, Singaporeans have turned paranoid and fearful.
Remember, the COVID-19 virus outbreak, while serious, doesn’t warrant us throwing people who’re safeguarding us into the fire.
Just remember to be careful of where you touch, be socially responsible and wash your hands frequently and we’ll pull through this alright.
In the meantime, stay updated by bookmarking MOH’s website.