COVID-19 | SUNBIZ

COVID-19: Commission Praises Taxi Operators, Urges Landlords To Show Compassion

In a statement, chief executive Joel Abraham said: “It’s encouraging to see Fijians stepping up to help each other during this time of need and there is no doubt that we can overcome this together.”
06 Apr 2020 13:08
COVID-19: Commission Praises Taxi Operators, Urges Landlords To Show Compassion
FCCC CEO Abraham.

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) is thanking taxi operators who have reduced their contract rates during COVID-19.

In a statement, chief executive Joel Abraham said: “It’s encouraging to see Fijians stepping up to help each other during this time of need and there is no doubt that we can overcome this together.”

Mr Abraham is urging other taxi operators to make similar considerations for their drivers during this global pandemic.

“Taxi drivers are finding it difficult to get passengers right now and many will not be able to meet the $250 to $300 contract requirements and feed their families at the same time.

“ While the owners hold the permit, it is the drivers who work very hard and often long hours to make them the money they need,” he said.

“Taxi drivers are doing an excellent job, and many continue to drive, despite being at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, in order to provide Fijians with transportation services.”

He said taxi drivers who were not given relief by their operators could contact the commission and they would mediate on their behalf.

The Government has provided relief on car loans and other mortgages.

Plea to landlords

Meanwhile, Mr Abraham is urging landlords not to evict tenants during these troubled times.

“The COVID-19 virus has forced many companies to temporarily shut down and Fijians may not be able to earn their full income and thus be unable to pay rent,” he said.

The Government has made a commitment to give further assurances to the banks to protect ordinary Fijians who have home mortgages through Letters of Comfort.

Mr Abraham is also urging tenants who are able to pay their rent to do so and to talk to their landlords and negotiate payment options. The Commission is currently looking at measures to protect both landlords and tenants during this crisis.

“We also thank the landlords who have been understanding and provided relief to tenants during a time where togetherness is very important,” he said.

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