Taxi drivers keen on Covid aid

Taxi Driver Association officers from left: Charlie Johnny, Annej Ishiguro, and Danty Elcar. Photo: Wilmer Joel

WILMER JOEL

Majuro Taxi Drivers Association held a meeting at Awa Zero this week Monday to talk about the importance of incorporating their association with a charter and bylaws. They held a “how to establish it” session, which was conducted by volunteers Gold Wase and Kellynne Brechtefeld.

The meeting also discussed ways to fix problems caused by the previous administration and to work their way toward receiving Covid relief of $180,000 that was designated by the RMI government for 187 eligible taxi drivers.

According to taxi association Secretary Jeffery Kakku Alik “The reason why it is delayed for us receiving our Covid relief package is because of the previous listing made by the previous administration in which it shows 387 taxi drivers in the past.”

He added by saying that the taxi driver officers are not happy with this number and they are trying to figure out a solution. Annej Ishiguro the vice president of the Association said: “The previous listing didn’t work out well and we didn’t agree with it, for example if a car has three drivers, one full time driver and the other two are part time drivers they would usually fill their gases three times a week. But the listing that was required for us to follow is $35 for gas per week. He also added that instead of filling gas, they would sell it.

Ishiguro also said that they told Reginald White, who heads the National Disaster Committee’s Economic Impact Assessment Committee, and his team that they didn’t want to fill up gas for the Covid relief aid and follow the previous listing. The money must go to the taxi drivers to support their families, he said. Ishiguro concluded by saying: “The committee doesn’t have the right to make the decision for us about how to spend the money. They have accused us by saying that we will use it for drinking alcohol. But it shouldn’t be this way because it is not their money. The association will soon host their final meeting to finalize everything and make the agreement to gain their relief funds.”

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