MANILA, Philippines – Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to place the entire Luzon under lockdown or “enhanced community quarantine,” all public transport operations were suspended.
Public transportation modes that were halted include public utility vehicles, railways, buses, motorcycle taxis, and transport network vehicle services like Grab.
The task of providing transport options to workers exempted from the enhanced community quarantine is up to the local government units. These workers include those who work in hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, public markets, supermarkets, groceries, and convenience stores.
Here is how local government units augmented their need for transport systems.
Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said on Tuesday, March 17, that 10 public utility buses will be dispatched to transport around 400 stranded passengers from the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange back to Cavite.
Remulla added that he will be meeting with the provincial commander of the Philippine National Police to implement a modified transport scheme within Cavite.
Ospital ng Makati doctors, nurses, and employees may ride buses deployed by the city government starting at 2 pm. The buses will go through the following routes:
- Bus A – Puregold to Ospital ng Makati and vice versa
- Bus B – LRT Buendia to Ospital ng Makati and vice versa
- Bus C – Waterfun C5 to Ospital ng Makati and vice versa
The city government of Mandaluyong will be providing shuttle services to all medical personnel and frontliners for the duration of the lockdown. It is also working on housing provision in condominiums to accommodate non-resident government medical staff and personnel who work in Mandaluyong City.
Marikina City residents who need to go out to buy essentials or supplies may use the “Libreng Sakay” provided by the city government.
The Libreng Sakay coasters will service 5 routes.
Meanwhile, private hospitals and health establishments are expected to provide their own shuttle service for their employees.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto allowed tricycles to continue operations, saying that the vehicles of the city government are insufficient.
According to Sotto, tricycles are needed to transport health workers and those who work for essential services. Sotto added that there are emergencies in places that only tricycles can access.
Tricycle operations will be subject to guidelines such as limited passengers, to allow for social distancing, and that only those exempt from the community quarantine may ride tricycles.
The Tarlac Provincial Hospital provided a carpooling system for its hospital nurses who will be working throughout the duration of the lockdown.
They will be provided with 4 vehicles for carpooling: the Toyota FX service of the hospital, the Foton multi-purpose vehicle of the Silip Sakit program, the Mitsubishi FB used by the Tarlac Eye Center, and a vehicle from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Nurses and resident doctors of the hospital were divided into two skeleton teams, with each being on duty for one week. – Rappler.com