DAVAO CITY – A lawmaker clarified on Thursday that she is not turning a blind eye to the concerns of the drivers' sector which she represents.
Drivers United for Mass Progress and Equal Rights - Philippines Taxi Drivers Association (DUMPER-PTDA) party-list Rep. Claudine Bautista said she has been doing everything to help the drivers sector through the pandemic but admitted that there are still some issues and concerns that have yet to be fixed.
“Working for a public office, I have always valued the integrity of my work. I have always preferred to act silently and let my actions speak for themselves. I assure everyone that we have never taken our eyes off of these concerns,” she said in a statement.
This came after Bautista drew flak from some celebrities and netizens over her recent "lavish" wedding at the Balesin Island in Polillo, Quezon province.
“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,” she said.
The lawmaker clarified 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 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 PHP3 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.
Bautista added that as a public servant, she has always been transparent in her office’s accomplishments and ongoing efforts.
“We will continue to do so despite detractors aiming to change the narrative and devalue our achievements,” Bautista said. (PNA)