1,000 Angkas drivers to provide free rides for health frontliners in Metro Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Motorcycle ride-hailing service Angkas has assigned its 1,000 riders to transport medical frontliners in Metro Manila to their workplaces and on their way home for free, amid the suspension of mass transport in Metro Manila and nearby provinces under the modified enhanced community quarantine.
Under the Free Motorcycle Ride Project for Medical Frontliners program of the ride-hailing service, the 1,000 Angkas riders who will provide free rides to health workers will be assigned near the Philippine General Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, and Ospital ng Sampaloc in Manila; East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City; and Tala Hospital in Caloocan City.
Based on an agreement between the Joint Task Force COVID Shield and Angkas, some Angkas riders will also be on standby at the National Kidney Institute, Quezon City General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, and in Ospital ng Maynila and Fabella Hospital in Manila.
Task Force Commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Friday that medical workers on their way home may approach the Angkas riders and present their identification cards to avail of a free ride.
Aside from this initiative, Angkas also turned over 1,000 protective barriers to the task force, which will help facilitate the distribution of the materials to qualified riders.
Eleazar said the barriers will be forwarded to various police stations in Metro Manila for distribution to qualified recipients. He said motorcycle riders who regularly ferry their spouses, live-in partners, relatives, and friends who work as medical frontliners will be prioritized in the distribution.
According to Eleazar, this initiative from Angkas is “a clear manifestation that the spirit of bayanihan is very much alive and continues to be a defining value of Filipinos especially in this time of global pandemic.”
“We in the JTF COVID Shield believe that there are a lot of people out there who continue to extend assistance to their troubled kababayans as revealed by the countless good deeds that we regularly see in the social media since the entire country was placed in community quarantine,” he said.
The government has earlier allowed motorcycle pillion riding for essential workers or authorized persons outside of residence under MECQ, provided that they install protective barriers in the motorcycles and follow minimum health protocols. The motorcycle that should be used should also be privately-owned and not for hire.
Previously, only married couples and live-in partners were allowed for motorcycle pillion riding, a limitation set in place to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease.
The quarantine status in Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna and Rizal were reverted back to MECQ following the appeal of the medical community for a “timeout” amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases under eased quarantine guidelines.
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