Singapore – The Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan, announced the launch of a support package to help taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday (Mar 18), Mr Khaw took to Facebook to share details on the additional relief package to be given to public transport drivers “seeing a loss of income as Covid-19 has significantly reduced tourist arrivals and domestic travels.”

According to the Transport Minister, the S$77 million support package previously announced during the 2020 Budget was “to provide immediate relief” for the country’s transport drivers. He confirmed that a second package is in the works should the crisis be prolonged.

Under the Special Relief Fund (SRF), eligible drivers receive up to S$36.50 per day to help offset the loss caused by the pandemic. The Land Transport Authority is working with operators to distribute the relief quickly, said Mr Khaw. “I am glad to note that our operators have commenced the first disbursement to their drivers,” he said and added that some 16,000 taxi drivers and 24,000 PHC drivers have qualified for the SRF.

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Additional support for taxi drivers
Concurrently, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), in partnership with the Government, has started the Driver Care Fund (DCF) for those who do not qualify for the SRF.

NTUC Assistant Director-General, Ang Hin Kee disclosed more details on the DCF in his Facebook account. From today onwards, PHCs who face some form of hardship and do not qualify for the SRF under the Government’s Point-to-Point Support Package (PPSP), can now apply for the DCF, said Mr Ang. “Eligible drivers will receive a one-off $300 financial aid under the PPSP,” he added.

As drivers continue to feel the impact of the evolving Covid-19 crisis, Mr Ang “hopes that the one-off financial support can help alleviate some of the financial burdens.”

He included a list of requirements for those who wish to claim the DCF:

  • Not a recipient of the Special Relief Fund
  • Must hold a valid vocational licence
  • Must be a registered and active PHC driver before Feb 13, 2020
  • Is in any of the following situations:
    • Suffers from complex chronic illnesses
    • On prolonged medical leave due to illness or injury
    • Is the primary caregiver of vulnerable dependent(s)
    • Is a recipient of/or has an immediate family member (in the same household) who is a recipient of other assistance schemes, i.e. Comcare, Rental Flat, NTUC U Care Schemes, Self-Help Group Aid
    • Is a blue or orange CHAS Card Holder
    • Is entering into financial difficulties on essential living
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Those who fit the requirements could visit Downtown East, Begonia Terrace starting Mar 18 until Apr 17, 2020, to apply for the programme.

More details available here.

The National Private Hire Vehicles Association also posted the following infographic on the application process for the DCF:

Photo: FB screengrab/ NPHVA

ByHana O