The government's implementation of an Enhanced Community Quarantine effectively brought Luzon to a standstill. The ECQ is intended to keep citizens in their homes in order to arrest the spread of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, this also meant all forms of commercial public transport were put to a stop, which is a vital means for essential front-liners such as doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to get to hospitals and continue their struggle against the invisible adversary.
That's where the Philippine auto industry is coming in to help, and one of them is Toyota Motor Philippines.
In a social media post, the newly assigned president of Toyota, Mr. Hiro Okamoto, pledged the support of the company to several hospitals and local government units. While Toyota in the Philippines has had to suspend its general operations, they have at their disposal a fleet of vehicles often used for promotional events or for test drives. And that's what TMP president Okamoto promised.
The company has mobilized its very large fleet of test vehicles comprised of various units of the Rush, Wigo, RAV4, Vios, FJ Cruiser and more to ferry front liners around.
"From my last post, I got very good suggestions from my Facebook friends to lend support to our front liners, in whatever way we can," said Okamoto. "I would like to thank you for your suggestions!"
Okamoto confirmed that they are currently augmenting the mobility needs of the front liners of 10 hospitals: Binangonan Lakeview Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, Mary Johnston Hospital, Ospital ng Makati, Paranaque Doctors Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, Qualimed Hospital Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa Community Hospital, South City Medical Center, and Unihealth Paranaque Hospital. TMP is also supporting the City of Manila with some mobility solutions, as well as the Navotas City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO).
The Department of Transportation has mobilized buses and routes to ferry hospital staff, especially in Metro Manila as a lot of front liners live far from the hospitals they work in. The work of the auto industry to ferry people during the ECQ is meant to augment the efforts of the national government as well as the LGUs to ensure the movement of front liners to their posts.
Okamoto also says that they will continue to update the list of hospitals they can support.