Caddies, employees, and tee girls at the Veterans Golf Club in Quezon City have become increasingly disheartened as September has passed without them receiving the cash subsidies totaling P21 million promised by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
In July, DOTr representatives convened a meeting with the caddies’ association, providing assurances that the funds were ready and would be disbursed within 42 working days. They were assured that the disbursement would take place once the Veterans Golf Club received the funds.
Nonetheless, four months have passed since that meeting, and the caddies have been provided with a new timeline, indicating that they may receive the subsidies by the end of the year.
It has been nearly three years since the DOTr pledged financial support in connection with the construction of the North Avenue station for the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP). According to the agreement established between the DOTr and the Department of National Defense, the owner of the public golf course, on December 4, 2020, personnel affected by the construction should receive monthly subsidies for a year. Each caddie is expected to receive a lump sum of P60,000, while tee girls and employees will be provided with P36,000 and P73,716, respectively.
The revised master list provided by the club includes 225 caddies, 40 tee girls, and 70 employees. Tragically, seven caddies have passed away, and eight have retired while awaiting the subsidy.
Despite continuous efforts by officials of the caddies’ association, they have not been able to make any headway with the DOTr.
Shienna Sadia, who works in the special projects division of the MMSP, cited the delay is due to additional necessary documentation. She expressed her apologies, stating, “We still need certain documents from Veterans Golf Club and will send them an official request.”
Caddies can only hope Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, an avid golfer himself, will facilitate the process.