In this war against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we really need all hands on deck. Aside from the healthcare workers who are at the forefront of saving the lives of the COVID-19 patients, there are also other frontliners who are doing their part amid the pandemic.
There are the military and police personnel who enforce the enhanced community quarantine, the social workers, local government unit and barangay personnel who bring food packs to the depressed areas, and the grocery and pharmacy crew who ensure that we get our basic needs.
And finally, somebody has to make sure these other frontliners get to and from their workplaces safely and on time — the transport people who shuttle all these other frontliners to and from their residences to their workplace.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has organized drivers and conductors, police escorts, military escorts, LTO, LTFRB and I-ACT personnel to provide free shuttles for frontliners, primarily healthcare workers for them to get to their proper destinations.
The DOTr made several transport schemes catering to medical frontliners during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. The schemes cover Metro Manila and suburbs, extending to and from destinations that include Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan.
Many private transport companies such as Mitsubishi dealership Diamond Motors, Isuzu dealership Inteco, Hino Motors, Pilipinas Autogroup, and Gazelle Motors have provided public utility vehicles for free for this purpose.
The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) has lauded the DOTr’s initiative and has partnered with local Filipino fastfood chain Binalot to provide free meals for the 200-strong personnel from different organizations that support the program. It has pledged almost 3,000 meal packages for DOTr’s project.
EVAP president Edmund Araga says that they recognize the bravery and dedication of these men and women who are willing to risk their lives due to the possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus just to perform their duty of transporting healthcare workers to and from the hospitals.
“As a gesture of gratitude, we have forged a partnership with Binalot to provide them nourishing Filipino comfort food to sustain them during the Enhanced Community Quarantine,” Araga said.
Binalot president Rommel Juan concludes that we all need to work together to beat this COVID crisis.
“And we are happy that entities such as EVAP have stepped up to provide meals for our transport frontliners. We hope that other private entities will follow suit and also support the DOTr and the government in general for us to beat this pandemic,” Juan said.