Jeepney in California to inform Filipinos on issues, services
CARSON CITY, California — A colorful Sarao Jeepney is now an instrument for making Filipino-Americans aware of issues affecting them as a community.
A partnership between Filipino clergy and the Pilipino Workers’ Center (PWC) on Sunday, September 14 launched “Halika Na, Sakay Na,” an awareness campaign for community services.
It is aimed at bringing the good news, programs and services to the community, according to PWC Executive Director Aquilina Soriano. She said PWC purchased the jeepney from a collector in the U.S. to showcase and preserve artifacts visibly evoking Filipino culture.
A Sarao jeepney was exhibited at the Philippine pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair as a national image for the Filipinos. It is the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines.
One jeepney owned and operated by the Pilipino Workers’ Center (PWC) kicked off its “Super Tour” at St. Philomena Parish in Carson City, a church with a large Filipino American congregation in a city whose population is more than 25 percent immigrants from the Philippines.
“Jeep ng Bayan” began its journey with the Reverend Oscar Solis, Auxiliary
Bishop of San Pedro Pastoral Region who asked the community to support the “2nd
National Assembly of Filipino Priests” to be held in Orlando, Florida on November 4 to 7 in Orlando, Florida.
Carson Mayor Pro-temp Elito Santarina lauded the partnership of the church and community: “Bishop Solis is Carson’s friend and I’m pleased that this kick-off for this important journey is taking place in this city with a large Filipino population.”
“Jeep ng Bayan” will travel to various churches and cities in Southern California. Its next stop is Artesia with a 20 percent Filipino population. Among the information it will bringing are the following:
- Driver’s License Campaign – January 1, 2015 is the day when all Californians, no matter immigration status, can receive Driver’s Licenses. PWC is providing assistance in the process of obtaining the Driver’s license by educating and assisting applicants to prepare documents needed, apply and review for the written test and explain why no one should be afraid to apply.
- Voters Education Campaign – PWC is assisting with voter registration, information to prepare our community to make informed choices and are encouraging everyone who can to vote on November 4th.
- Low-cost immigration services such as family petitions, consultations, applications for US Citizenship, applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
- “Paluwagan” – a lending circle with no interest and no
- Overtime Rights under the CA Domestic Workers Bill of Rights – Educating caregivers, domestic workers and employers on their rights and responsibilities, overtime computation and wage theft legal assistance.
- Phone and Utilities Campaign – Education and assistance for anyone who has a problem with phone bills, gas bills or electric/water bills. PWC helps community members to lower bills if they are being over-charged.
- Temporary Protected Status for Philippines – PWC is collecting support for a “one year after Haiyan action” asking for TPS designation from the US government.
Bishop Solis said the Filipino pastoral communities are all in support of the Philippines’ campaign to ask for Temporary Status Protection (TPS) for undocumented immigrants as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. The community outreach is a collaborative effort of the Pilipino Workers Center in partnership with Filipino Ministry, and Pinoy Town Hall.