Filipino bus drivers protest against coronavirus measures

Footage shows jeepney bus drivers in the Philippines protesting after months of no income due to the coronavirus lockdown.

In the video, the drivers are seen criticising what they claim is a lack of assistance from the government. They are holding placards with calls for cash subsidies, free coronavirus testing for drivers, and permission to go back to work.

Those who were not able to hold a placard were on their jeepneys buzzing the horn at a jeepney terminal in Pasig City.

Coinciding with the protest, the country has relaxed its coronavirus restrictions in Metro Manila, the epicentre of the virus, at the start of June and has allowed partial resumption of public transportation in the capital region.

However, jeepneys, a type of bus, were not among the vehicles that were allowed to drive in the roads again.

One of the protesters, Johnny Odiaman, a driver of 30 years, said he just wants to be able to drive again.

He said: "I have a family who depend on me. How can we support ourselves if we are not even earning?"

The government provided cash assistance to the affected families but most of the drivers failed the application because they were considered self-employed.

In addition, the budget was limited to benefit only 10 million of the 18 million poor families identified by the social welfare department.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that the ailing drivers could be tapped as coronavirus contact tracers to provide temporary employment.