On August 2, 2021, Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin received complaints from the President of the Thai Taxi Association, Mr. Witoon Naewpanich, in a meeting with the Labour Minister to follow up on the progress of three claims. The claims included taxi drivers aged 65 and below applying under Section 40, taxi drivers aged over 65 who cannot apply for Section 40, and groups who are missed out. The Ministry of Labour’s Spokesperson (on politics), Mrs. Theanrat Nawamawat, Advisory Board Member to the Labour Minister Mr. Jumlong Chuayrod, and the SSO’s Inspector-General Mr. Nanthachai Panyasurarit also joined the occasion at the Chatumongkol room, 6th floor, Ministry of Labour. The Labour Minister said that the government led by Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha has foreseen the hardships and cares for people in independent professions such as taxi drivers, street hawkers, motorcycle taxi drivers, tricycle drivers, including night time professions, such as waitresses, singers, and musicians, who have been affected by the lockdown measures in the highest control areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, he suggested that people in such professions apply as an insured persons under Section 40 to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 by being compensated with 5,000 Baht per person. The Thai Taxi Association raised the issue of Taxi drivers who are over 65 years of age and have a domicile in other provinces and whether they could apply for Section 40 and receive remedies in full. In this regard, there is already a system to monitor such cases. Taxi drivers who have a public driver’s license and are located in the 13 provinces with maximum control will be remedied. For taxi drivers over 65 years old, the social security regulations in applying for Section 40 require applicants to be aged between 15 and 65 years old. In this section, the Ministry of Labour will consult with the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council to amend the rules and regulations, to be further proposed to the Cabinet. The missed groups that have not yet registered will be re-introduced to the Cabinet on August 10 so that the remedies can be transferred on August 24.
Mr. Suchart continued that the Ministry of Labour has also supported survival bags that have been donated from the private sector. Many kind representatives from companies like the CP Group, Carabao Dang, and Thai Union Group, have donated consumer goods, rice, dry foods, drinking water, canned fish, instant noodles, and surgical masks to help taxi drivers and their families suffering from the impacts of COVID-19. The donations were made through the President of the Thai Taxi Association, including support for the budget of the Thai Taxi Association to give money to the families of taxi drivers to prepare food boxes for workers’ camps to help alleviate the suffering of COVID-19. “Today, the business cycle and the economic cycle must be supported so that the economy goes hand in hand with the public health system. In meeting with the President of the Thai Taxi Association today, I believe that he has strength and encouragement as he returns. I picked up the matter myself. I extend encouragement to all taxi drivers and informal workers. Please be assured that the government under the Prime Minister leaves no one behind,” concluded Mr. Suchart.
President of the Thai Taxi Association, Mr. Witoon Naewpanich, said that meeting the Labour Minister today allowed him to better understand the role of the government and the Ministry of Labour. He said that he believes that the government will not leave anyone behind. In particular, the Labour Minister’s answer to the application of Section 40 for taxi drivers. Over 20,000 taxis drivers are currently still in their occupation and have applied to receive remedies of 5,000 Baht each. For those over 65 years of age who have not been able to apply for Section 40, the Labour Minister will find a way to present amendments to the regulations so that everyone can apply and get support without missing out. In addition, there is also support from the survival bag, including the budget for the Thai Taxi Foundation, giving money to the families of taxi drivers to prepare food boxes for workers camps to help alleviate the suffering from COVID-19.
Division of Public Relations
2 August 2021