Grace Poe inspired to help jeepney drivers as FPJ was once a ‘driver’
Senator Grace Poe said she is inspired to help jeepney drivers and operators because her father, the King of Philippine movies Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), once portrayed the life of a jeepney driver in a film.
“Maybe the reason why my heart is close to this advocacy is because he used to portray the lives of jeepney drivers,” Poe said, drawing cheers from jeepney drivers and operators who attended the Transport Unity Summit on Monday.
“While on the way here, I asked, what was the title of papa’s movie where he was a jeepney driver? The movie was ‘Ang Syota ‘Kong Balikbayan’,” Poe said, referring to the 1996 movie.
Admitting that critics might say that FPJ was merely “role-playing” in the movie, Poe emphasized that FPJ’s body of work remains relevant at present as they tackle issues concerning the masses.
“I know that other people will poke fun at it, saying that ‘it is just a movie, it is not his real life’. But no, even if FPJ has died since, his movies are still relevant. If you watch it, you will see his message, that justice should prevail,” Poe said.
Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public service, has vowed to help jeepney drivers who are facing uncertainty because of the government’s modernization program.
Under the proposal, old jeepneys which will not pass new standards will be phased out.
Poe suggested that the government can raise the financial assistance to drivers which could be used as a downpayment for new jeepneys.
President Rodrigo Duterte had previously warned jeepney owners and operators that he will forcibly remove from streets old jeepneys that are a threat to commuters’ safety.
However, both Poe and leaders of transport groups reiterated that they are not against modernization plans, provided that these would not interfere with the livelihood of drivers. /vvp
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