1MINTRA attests DUMPER partylist Rep. Bautista support to transport sector

By : Mindanao Today/06:47:25pm 08/29/2021


Rep. Claudine Diana ‘Dendee’ Bautista of Drivers United for Mass Progress and Equal Rights (DUMPER) partylist. (Photo grabbed from www.congress.gov.ph)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The One Mindanao Transport Association, Inc. (1MINTRA) has attested to the support and assistance from partylist Rep. Claudine “Dendee” Bautista of Drivers United for Mass Progress and Equal Rights (DUMPER) extended to drivers and transport workers.

1MINTRA President Sinawe “Wawie” Mama-o has cried foul over the accusation, saying “when Covid-19 pandemic struck our country, one of the most affected sectors is the transport sector and industry, and 1Mintra has witnessed that the office of Congresswoman Dendee Bautista distributed face shields, face masks, arm-sleeves, food-packs, and financial assistance by way of Ayuda to thousands of drivers of tricycles and other public utility vehicles (PUVs) affected by the pandemic across Mindanao.”

Mama-o said, in fact, Rep. Bautista has extended assistance not just to the sector she represents in Congress but also to other marginalized sectors.

“Congresswoman Bautista is a consistent advocate and defender of transport stakeholders, even as she was responsible for requesting the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to extend the filing of consolidation of franchises of traditional PUJs in order to give them more time to hurdle in the modernization of PUVs under the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) of the DOTr,” Mama-o said.

1MINTRA is a Mindanao-wide organization of transport stakeholders consisting of various transport groups and cooperatives upholding transport advocacies, modernization, plans and programs with an estimated 500 transport cooperatives, 100 transport companies and corporations and allied workers and beneficiaries across Mindanao islands that are either regular or associate/allied members.

Currently, there are some five thousand regular members in every region of the six regions in Mindanao, or roughly 30,000 and is growing.

Rep. Bautista came under fire from critics following her criticisms from some celebrities and netizens describing her wedding at the Balesin Island in Polillo, Quezon province, as “lavish.”

In a statement, the lawmaker said: “Although given the situation, I would also like to express my sadness over how my wedding day, something that I have separated from my work as a public official, has been made into a political spectacle. My husband has been planning this special day with me for years even before the pandemic, and it pains us to see how things after our wedding turned out.”

The lawmaker clarified over a government media entity, Philippine News Agency, that while the people have been questioning her public service record, she has helped the sector during the pandemic as they were able to help vaccinate 18,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers.

She said that they also have provided assistance through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (DOLE-TUPAD), and Department of Health (DOH) all around the country.

“We advocated for the immediate release of financial assistance for PUV drivers by filing a House Resolution and worked to ensure that the deadline for consolidation of PUVs is extended,” Bautista added.

To address the effects of the pandemic, she also made sure that more than 1.1 million grocery packs, personal protective equipment (PPE), free insurance policies, and relief assistance are distributed to affected PUV drivers and commuters.

“From my personal funds, I have donated P3 million to doctors and nurses to ensure that their tireless sacrifice is recognized. Moving forward, I want to move past this issue and focus on pressing matters - the pandemic and serving better my constituents. I will no longer indulge in the statements by people of influence against me as I will leave it up to my legal team to address this,” Bautista said.

She added that as a public servant, she has always been transparent in her office’s accomplishments and ongoing efforts, and “we will continue to do so despite detractors aiming to change the narrative and devalue our achievements.” (PR)

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