Angkot Drivers Economically Impacted by the COVID-19 Outbreak

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has also negatively affected the livelihood of many daily workers, including angkot (public transport) drivers.

Hermanto, one of the beneficiaries of the Free Meal Operation. (ACTNews/Eko Ramdani)

ACTNews, DEPOK - Hermanto (62) was carrying six coupons that he was going to exchange for meal packages at Warung Tegal (Warteg) Amanah, located not far from the Sukmajaya police station, Depok. He looked very enthusiastic. Accompanied by one of his children, Hermanto brought six packages of meal that he would serve to his family at home.

In his old age, Hermanto is still working as an angkot diver. He must support his wife and five children. However, since outbreak of COVID-19 in Indonesia, Hermanto felt economically impacted. His income has drastically decreased while he still has to fulfill his family’s needs

When ACTNews met him at Warteg Amanah, Hermanto said, on that Tuesday (3/31), he only earned a little. Much less from what he must give to the owner of the car. Prior to the COVID-19 emergency, he can earn up to hundreds of thousands each day, and bring home IDR 60,000 to 90,000 after setting aside the gasoline cost and the money that he must give to the owners. "Now it is very difficult to get passengers. School children and employees now stay at home," he said.

Also read: Suwono's Solidarity with Fellow Daily Fighters

A similar situation was also faced by Amir, a fellow angkot driver. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, his income has also been greatly reduced. He is often unable to provide enough money to give to the car owner. However, Amir claimed that angkot owners can understand the current conditions.

Amir and Hermanto are some of the informal workers that have no fixed salary. They depend on the passengers who use their services.

Seeing this condition, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) have been collaborated with wartegs throughout Jakarta Metropolitan Area with the Free Meal Operation program, which provides free meals for the impoverished communities and daily workers. ACT aims to collaborate with a thousand wartegs, member of the Komunitas Warteg Nusantara (Kowantara) to prepare free meals.

Sugiono from Kowantara Depok, said that collaboration with ACT is a good step for many people, not only for beneficiaries but also warteg owners whose income have also decreased significantly.

"I almost close my own Warteg temporarily because the income was insufficient to pay employees and for operational cost," said Sugiono, who is also the owner of Warteg Amanah in Depok.

Tuesday (31/3), Warteg Amanah provided 100 packages of meals distributed to the underprivileged communities around the warteg and daily workers like Amir and Hermanto. Sugiono hoped that this collaboration will continue, even after the COVID-19 outbreak because many also suffer from economic difficulty even without the outbreak.