The “Enhanced Community Quarantine” implemented by President Rodrigo Duterte a few nights ago to control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has effectively put the entire Luzon in a standstill.
People are ordered to stay home/indoors. Work, for the most part, has been suspended in both the public and private sectors. More importantly, all forms of mass transport have also been suspended including rail transport (LRT1-2, MRT, and PNR), buses, jeeps, UV express, tricycles, and even Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS).
However, not everyone can just stay at home relax or even work from home. Our healthcare workers and other front liners need to be out in the field in order to take care of those affected and also fight against the coronavirus. The problem is, they currently don’t have a way to get to their respective hospitals as public transport has been banned. Remember, not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to a private vehicle.
Yesterday morning, images and posts began circulating on social media showing healthcare workers and other front liners walking for hours just to get to their destinations. Considering they already put a massive effort into fighting against COVID-19, the last thing they need right now is to be tired by walking from their house and back.
In response to the transport issue or lack thereof, the Office of the President has raised the concern with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The MMDA has since coordinated with various companies in order to provide free rides to workers exempted from the quarantine. The buses used to provide free transport are marked with the agency’s official logo in order to avoid confusion.
A total of three bus routes have been deployed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to transport health workers to their destinations. Two will start at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) and the other will start at the Bayani Fernando Central Terminal (BFCT) in Marikina. Take note of the following routes below.
Route 1 will start at PITX and make stops at Makati Medical Center-St. Lukes Medical Center - BGC-Rizal Medical Center-The Medical City - Ortigas-East Avenue Medical Center-Philippine Heart Center-Lung Center of the Philippines-Quezon City General Hospital.
Route 2 composes of PITX-Pasay City General Hospital-Adventist Medical Center Manila-Philippine General Hospital-Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center-Manila Doctors Hospital-University of Sto. Tomas Hospital-San Lazaro Hospital-Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center-Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center.
Route 3 BFCT-Quirino Memorial Medical Center-East Avenue Medical Center-Philippine Heart Center-Lung Center of the Philippines-Providence Hospital-Capitol Medical Center-St. Lukes Medical Center - East Ave.-University of Sto. Tomas Hospital-San Lazaro Hospital.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard have also offered their trucks and buses to ferry those stranded to their places of work and their home back safely.
Meanwhile, the office of Vice President Leni Robredo has announced that they giving out free shuttle services to health workers and front liners starting on Wednesday, March 18. There will be a total of six routes covering the whole of Metro Manila. The schedule of pickups starts at 6:00 AM and will be at the end of the route by 11:30 AM. Afternoon schedules are set to be announced tomorrow. You may check out the full schedule of shuttle services here.
Only hospital workers can avail of the shuttles and must bring a valid ID for their hospitals. Passengers will have to undergo temperature checks, alcohol disinfection and will be logged. Social distancing will be implemented as well.
We here at AutoIndustriya.com would like to thank every healthcare worker and everyone in the frontline fighting against COVID-19.