City to hold bidding for 10T sacks of rice
To aid Angkas, habalhabal drivers
CEBU, Philippines — While waiting for the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) response, the Cebu City’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) is set to schedule a public bidding for the procurement of 10,000 sacks of rice that will be given to affected Angkas and motorcycle-for-hire drivers.
BAC head Ronaldo Malacora told The FREEMAN that Mayor Tomas Osmeña has already signed the purchase request for the purpose.
They are projecting that by this month, an opening of public bidding will be announced.
Earlier, the city government has set aside P15 million charged under the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) funds to aid the affected drivers who are residents in the city.
In a separate interview, Osmeña said he sent the letter to DA last week asking the department to allow the city government to purchase 10,000 sacks of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA).
The mayor did this after he learned that the city government is not allowed to procure sacks of rice from NFA.
Osmeña emphasized that his priority is the riding public, and that the city government just aided the affected drivers because of the temporary loss of their livelihood.
“…Our stand is really not Angkas, it’s the riding public. We are assisting the drivers because this is a traumatic situation for them,” he said.
Earlier last month, the Supreme Court (SC) suspended the operation of Angkas nationwide. In order to lessen the impact to the drivers, Osmeña promised to help them.
All registered Angkas and habalhabal drivers in the city are entitled to receive the sack of rice.
“Basically, those that are habalhabal drivers will be able to receive even they don’t have a driver’s license, but they are registered. Then, the city will put up another program allowing them to get driver’s license,” Osmeña said.
Record shows that there are 4,000 Angkas drivers and 2,500 profiled habalhabal drivers in the City of Cebu.
Osmeña also said the City Legal Office (CLO) is now preparing the petition to be filed with the higher court for the regulation of motorcycles-for-hire.
“There is no time to make the legislation happen at this moment, we’re doing this directly to see if we can appeal to the Supreme Court to give temporary release. Until such time, just in the interest of public welfare, in the interest of the poor who don’t have anywhere to go, just buy us a little time until Congress can properly deliberate on the new legislation,” he said. (FREEMAN)