LIST: Active routes under DOTr’s free ride program for healthcare workers amid MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   August 7, 2020   •   292

MANILa, Philippines —  The Department of Transportation (DOTr) reminds health workers that the agency’s free ride program is still in full-swing despite the limiting of public transport under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces.

The Department stressed that to ensure safety while in transit, drivers and enforcers should wear full personal protective equipment gear in line with strict health protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Prior to leaving the pick up points, medical workers will be asked to fill out contact tracing forms, as well as undergo temperature checks.

All vehicle units for the program are being disinfected every loop, the DOTr assured.

The Department said that frontline medical workers can avail of the free ride program at the following routes which can also be viewed online through Sakay.ph:

  • Route 1: Meralco (Malanday) to United Doctors Medical Center
  • Route 2: Valenzuela Gateway Complex to United Doctors Medical Center
  • Route 3: SM City San Jose Del Monte to Centris
  • Route 4: SM Masinag to The Medical City Ortigas
  • Route 5: Ortigas Hospital and Healthcare Center to Rizal Medical Center
  • Route 6: MRT 3 Cubao to Philippine General Hospital via MRT 3 Centris Station
  • Route 7: Pasig City General Hospital to Makati Medical Center
  • Route 7a: Medical City Ortigas to VRP Medical Center
  • Route 8: Starmall Alabang to St. Luke’s Medical Center – BGC
  • Route 9: Vista Mall Daang Hari to United Doctors Medical Center
  • Route 10: RITM to Starmall Alabang
  • Route 11: Starmall Alabang to Manila Doctors Hospital
  • Route 12: Dasmariñas Pala-Pala to Manila Doctor’s Hospital
  • Route 13: Starmall Alabang to Sea Oil Imus Daang Hari/Aguinaldo
  • Route 14: SM City Taytay to St. Luke’s Medical Center – QC
  • Route 15: SLEX Sucat Exit to Philippine General Hospital
  • Route 16: MRT-3 Cubao to Philippine General Hospital
  • Route 17: SM City San Jose Del Monte to SM Fairview/ Commonwealth Hospital and Medical Center
  • Route 18: LRT-1 Monumento to Baclaran Market
  • Route 19: First Cabuyao Hospital and Medical Center to Starmall Alabang
  • Route 20: SM City Masinag to Lawton

Bacolod City, Lanao del Sur placed under MECQ until Sept. 30

Marje Pelayo   •   September 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (September 7) placed Bacolod City and Lanao del Sur under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from September 8 to 30.

Duterte approved the recommendation of National COVID-19 response Chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. following reported increase in number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the said areas.

“We recommended to the IATF for the upgrading of Lanao del Sur as MECQ considering it is contagious to Iligan City and its cases also rising up,” Galvez told the President during Monday’s meeting.

“Based on the recommendation of the NTF, with consultation of Bacolod City, the cases of Bacolod City are much higher than Iligan City which is also MECQ. We will recommend Bacolod City be placed under MECQ as recommended by the IATF,” he added.

Other than Bacolod City and Lanao del Sur, Iligan City is also under MECQ until September 30.

Meanwhile, the President believes that the Philippines has already flattened the curve of COVID-19 infection which he credited to the public’s obedience to health measures imposed by the government.

He, however, advised the public to remain vigilant and always adhere to health protocols to further eliminate COVID-19 transmission.

“Remember that the lessening of contamination wala na masyadong tao nagkaroon ng COVID is not because COVID-19, the germ, is gone,” he said.

“It is there floating around us. Kaya lang ang mga tao sumunod na. Hindi humawak, alcohol kaagad. The mask was one important factor,” he said.

Provincial bus operators, umapela sa pamahalaan na payagan nang makabyahe

Marje Pelayo   •   August 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Umaapela sa Department of Transportation (DOTr) ang mga operator ng provincial buses upang payagan na silang makabyahe ngayong naibaba na sa general community quarantine (GCQ) ang quarantine restrictions sa Metro Manila.

Anila, marami na sa kanilang hanay ang hindi na makabayad ng pwesto ng terminal at sapilitan nang nagtatanggal ng kani-kanilang empleyado.

Reklamo ng Provincial Bus Operators Association, limang buwan na silang walang byahe at walang kinikita. 

Pakiusap ng presidente ng grupo na si Alex Yague, sana ay payagan na silang bumalik sa operasyon kahit paunti-unti. 

“Napakaraming OFW at saka mga locally stranded individual na naipit dito sa Metro Manila na kailangan nilang makabiyahe pauwi sa kani-kanilang probinsya,” pahayag nito na sinasabing maari nilang maihatid ang mga ito kung papayagan lamang sila.

“Pangalawa, kung kailangan natin na mabuksan ang ekonomiya natin, kailangan natin ng public transportation sa dalawang bagay na iyon. Kailangan nating gradual, provincial bus operations entering and going out of Metro Manila,” dagdag nito.

Ayon pa kay Yague, dumarami umano ngayon ang mga colorum na sasakyan na nangongontrata ng mga pasahero mula Metro Manila papuntang probinsya.

Aniya, sakaling payagan sila ng pamahalaan ay maiiwasan ang mga ganitong modus operandi dahil handa ang provincial buses na sundin ang health protocols at mas mapapadali pa aniya ang contact tracing.

Kwestionable naman para sa kanila kung bakit pinapayagan ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ang pagbyahe ng mga Point-to-Point (P2P) buses mula Bulacan, Cavite o Laguna sa rutang galing ng Metro Manila.

Paliwanag ng LTFRB, hindi pa nila pwedeng payagan ang mga provincial buses galing ng National Capital Region (NCR) dahil maraming probinsya at lokal na pamahalaan ang mahigpit pa rin sa quarantine restrictions.

Marami sa kanila ang ayaw pa ring magpapasok ng mga tao mula Metro Manila dahil sa COVID-19.

“Since we’re talking about moving of people we also need to coordinate with LGUs concerned. We already had a meeting with umbrella organization of the locally elected officials kung saan nagsabi sila na a large majority of the provinces are still not willing to open their borders,” pahayag ni LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III.

“Back in August 4, two weeks ago, nagpalabas rin ng resolution ang Region 3 na humihiling  na ihinto muna ang provincial bus routes coming from Metro Manila,” dagdag nito.

Nilanaw rin ng LTFRB na ang mga pinapayagang P2P buses mula probinsya ay nagsasakay lamang ng mga pasahero na araw-araw bumibiyahe papasok at palabas ng Metro Manila dahil sa trabaho.

Iba pa ito sa mga bus na bumibiyahe ng malayuan para sa mga pasahero na minsanan lamang kung pumunta ng probinsya.

Ayon pa sa LTFRB, sa ngayon ay pinapayagan naman ang pagbiyahe ng provincial buses sa ibang mga rehiyon na tumatawid sa ibang mga probinsya kung saan mababa na ang kaso ng COVID-19.

Pagtiyak ng ahensya, patuloy ang pakikipagugnayan ng LTFRB sa mga pamahalaang panlalawigan upang maiayos ang mga itatakdang bus stops sakaling payagan na ang kanilang operasyon. MNP (sa ulat ni Joan Nano)

Malacañang places all except 15 areas under MGCQ from Aug. 16 to 30

Maris Federez   •   August 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has announced the new quarantine classification that will be implemented from August 16 to 30, based on Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No.63.

In a virtual press conference on Saturday morning, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that within the said period, the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon, the cities of Iloilo, Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Talisay, and the towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province will be under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The majority of the country, on the other hand, will be placed on the more relaxed modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

The Palace stressed, however, that localized and granular lockdown or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) remains in place in specific barangays, municipalities, cities, and provinces that would warrant it.

 “Maski sa mga lugar na nasa ilalim na ng GCQ at pati sa mga nasa ilalim ng MGCQ, magkakaroon pa rin po tayo ng localized ECQ. So wala po talagang katapusan ang ECQ, dahil ang atin pong ECQ ngayon ay localized or granular lockdown.”

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, in the meantime, remain under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until August 18.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the community quarantine classification for these areas on August 17.

Roque said that it will be up to the President to decide if he will keep the said areas under MECQ should the medical community request another timeout, especially with the spike of cases on Friday.

“Nasa kamay na po yan ng President. Siya po ang mag-aanunsyo sa Lunes, galing po sa Davao. Mayroon na pong rekomendasyong ibinigay ang IATF pero di po pwede nating pangunahan ang ating President.” —(with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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