How Filipinos are using #INeedARide to crowdsource, match transpo needs

JC Gotinga
How Filipinos are using #INeedARide to crowdsource, match transpo needs
Filipinos are helping each other to address the lack of immediate and timely transport solutions for healthcare workers and other frontliners who need to report to work

 

MANILA, Philippines – Left with limited options for public transportation, frontliners and healthcare workers have been harnessing the power of online crowdsourcing to look for ways to get to their places of work. 

The Philippine government placed Luzon under lockdown starting Tuesday, March 17, as a response to the spike of  coronavirus cases in the country.

This new measure implemented strict quarantine procedures, suspension of transportation services, and regulation of food and essential health services, among others. Additional travel restrictions were rolled out while local governments across the capital region moved to implement an 8 pm to 5 am curfew in their respective areas.

While the tactic is supported by experts, frontliners struggled with the national government’s lack of immediate and timely transport solutions for those who are required to report to work. 

It was only on the day after President Rodrigo Duterte implemented the enhanced community quarantine when the Department of Transportation reactively set up free bus rides around Metro Manila for health workers.

However, even with this added provisions, frontliners and healthcare workers said that it does not fully satisfy the demand for transportation. (READ: Groups providing transportation services for frontliners

Hoping to address this issue, spoken word poet Juan Miguel Severo introduced #INeedARide on Twitter to match people who need a ride to go to their workplace with volunteers who can accommodate these requests.

Most of the Twitter users who used the hashtags are healthcare workers who need to get to hospitals for their duty. Without the means for mobility, some of the healthcare workers have been walking to their places of work instead. 

 

In an interview with Twitter user JC, a volunteer driver, he mentioned that Juan Miguel’s tweet reached his timeline. 

“As of now, despite the high reach, we are only able to pick up and drop off a few people. So far, I’ve accommodated people whom I’ve interacted with via direct messages,” JC shared. 

He added that the initiative is more effective on Facebook since Filipinos have been coordinating through groups that are dedicated for that specific purpose. 

Aside from working Filipinos, the hashtag is also used by those who need to go to the hospital due to health emergencies. (READ: ‘Walang choice’: Man with leukemia walks to get chemo meds amid Luzon lockdown

 

Netizens said that the #INeedARide was a great way to organize the online efforts to support healthcare workers at the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus in the Philippines. 

It is just one of the several online bayanihan efforts Filipinos have led during this time of fear and uncertainty. 

While many lauded this citizen-led effort, several netizens lamented the fact that Filipinos are “left to their own devices” to deal with the pandemic. 

 

 

 

 

 

 – Rappler.com 



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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.