The first batch of the Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ) drivers and operators who are beneficiaries of the Davao City’s modernization of the public transport project, has completed the two-day Basic Business Management training conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) this week.

The two-day training conducted on August 17 and 18, 2020, was part of the Livelihood Restoration Program, one of the social compensation packages offered by the Davao City government to PUJ drivers and operators who will be affected by the implementation of the High Priority Bus System (HPBS).

HPBS Social Compensation Committee in-charge Marlisa Gallo said that the training aims to assist beneficiaries to start their own business with the help of the DTI.

“Nagpahigayon ta og seminar part sa atong pag prepare sa atoang mga drivers kay lisod man sad muhatag tag mga starter kit unya dili diay siya negosyante so atleast matagaan nato siyag basic knowledge kung unsa gyud ang mga pag negosyo, unsay mga estratihiya (This seminar is part of the drivers’ preparation for their business ventures. If we only give starter kits and they do not have business experience, at least we can give them basic knowledge on how to do business and strategies),” Gallo said.

The first batch of the training catered 37 participants who are drivers and operators and their beneficiaries from Catalunan Grande, Toril, and Calinan routes. These are the routes identified to be the pilot areas of the first phase of HPBS.

The HPBS Social Compensation Committee expects more than 1,300 jeepney drivers and operators to avail of the DTI social package. The DTI is also distributing business start-up kits to the beneficiaries worth P10,000.

PUJ driver John Ortega, one of the beneficiaries, chose to start a sari-sari store business.

“It’s a big help for us, most especially those who will be affected when the jeepneys will be phased out,” he said.

Under the HPBS Social Compensation Packages, the driver/operator can choose three out of five packages offered such as educational assistance, skills training, and cash-for-work assistance programs from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Department of Health (DOH). CIO