By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, 1Mar2017 (BicolToday.com) – The working high school girl student in Ateneo de Naga waited for the money padala from his father, a jeepney driver in Manila. The money she received would pay for her school and family needs. These routine had been going on for many countless weeks.
The money sent covers for her school and family needs in Naga City for the week, while the jeepney driver in Manila worked hard, waking up 3 in the morning, picked up passengers, and ended his day near midnight, sleeping for three hours inside his jeepney to wake up again for the following day routine.
These routine have been going on for several years, until now when high school student Hya Bendaña transferred to Ateneo de Manila to attend college as a full scholar.
This is how Hya describes Renato Bendaña, her father, as the “most hard-working person” known to her.
Hya has caught public attention when she appealed in her Facebook account a call to other sectors for solidarity with drivers as they launched Monday a nationwide strike against a government policy to axe down on passenger jeepneys plying Metro-Manila roads.
“I want people to stop for a moment and listen to them for solidarity’s sake,” Hya wrote in her Facebook page, as she learned that the drivers are protesting against the government plan to phase out the jeepney, unmindful about the 300,000 jeepney drivers who will lost their livelihood.
Hya said her father has been a driver since she was one year old. She credited her education from the sweat by her father who drives on Manila streets to earn the precious pesos he would be sending back home to Naga City, some four hundred kilometers away.
To save more money to send us, my father gave up his Manila apartment and instead, slept on the jeepney steel floor, there were times he got sick, Hya described.
Last Monday, February 27, jeepney drivers went on strike, but Hya felt hurt over the apathy shown by other sectors.
“This is about solidarity with those who have been working hard and want to make a statement.” Hya said. [BicolToday.com]