QC offers more ‘Libreng Sakay’ to commuters

Marje Pelayo   •   June 2, 2020   •   525

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Quezon City has added two new routes to its Libreng Sakay program to help commuters catch a ride to and from their workplaces and other destinations.

“As we transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), we have to assist the people to adjust to the new normal and that includes going back to work,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.

The Libreng Sakay program, which has dedicated 14 buses to ply two identified routes,  is available to the general public and Quezon City residents.

The said routes are as follows:

  • Route 1: SM Fairview – Quezon Avenue MRT (via Commonwealth Ave)

Starting point: SM Fairview

Pick up points

– Atherton / FCM

– Dona Carmen / Don Fabian (Wilcon)

– Litex

– Commonweath Market / Riverside

– Batasan

– Don Antonio

– Luzon / Tandang Sora (Puregold)

Drop off point: Quezon Avenue MRT

  • Route 2: Novaliches Bayan – North Avenue MRT (via Quirino Highway – Mindanao Ave)

Starting point: Nova Bayan

Drop off point: North Ave MRT

The city government has prioritized these routes due to the number of commuters who were stranded in these areas last Monday, the first day of the general community quarantine (GCQ) when several businesses were allowed to open.

“We recognize that a lot of people, mostly workers, are already returning to their offices but transport vehicles are few. We have to help augment,” said Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo.

Kimpo assured that the city government duly observes social distancing and other necessary protocols while the program is being implemented.

“Our seats have been installed with markers to keep passengers apart. Wearing of proper face mask will be strictly observed and is expected of our passengers,” said Kimpo.

Mayor Belmonte has asked the public to follow the city government’s  guidelines, adding that their cooperation is vital in curbing further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Mahalaga ang kooperasyon ng bawat isa sa paglipat natin patungo sa GCQ. Kailangan natin ang tulong ng lahat para hindi na kumalat pa ang virus na ito,” said Belmonte.

Meanwhile, the Libreng Sakay program for frontliners is still on-going.

IATF to study mayors’ bid to retain Metro Manila under GCQ after Sept. 30 – Año

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Most mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) are in favor of extending the general community quarantine (GCQ) being implemented in the region, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday.

Año said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will meet on Sunday, Sept. 27 to discuss the recommendation of the Metro Manila Council on the next quarantine status in NCR by October.

“Maraming mga mayors ng NCR ang gusto pa rin mag-GCQ pero depende pa rin sa usapan sa Sunday,” he said.

Metro Manila is under GCQ until Sept. 30 as earlier recommended by the IATF and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Año said they will thoroughly discuss the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal in order to balance the factors of public health and economy which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dalawa ‘yan: mahigpit na MGCQ o maluwag na GCQ. Kapag titignan mo mas maganda talaga na naka-GCQ tayo kahit magluwag ka ng konti pero meron kang talagang mas mataaas na panuntunan kaysa yung nag MGCQ ka pagkatapos hihigpitan mo,” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that Metro Manila could be placed under modified GCQ as this would allow the reopening of more industries to help revive the economy.

The IATF is also set to meet with Duterte on Sunday night to discuss the next quarantine classifications in NCR. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Boracay Island to open on Oct. 1 for residents from GCQ areas

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force has approved the proposed reopening of Boracay Island starting October 1 following recommendation from the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Such a move is part of the government’s recovery efforts from the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The resumption of tourism in Boracay would mean residents from areas under general community quarantine, including Metro Manila will soon be allowed to enter the island.

However, the government reminds the public of the strict health and safety protocols that go with the reopening of the famous tourist destination.

One of which is mandatory swab testing for all visitors before they can be allowed entry.

“Isa sa mga requirements na pinag-uusapan iyong RT-PCR (test) bago pumasok doon sa isla (One requirement under discussion is the RT-PCR test before entering the island),” noted Tourism Undersecretary Benito Benzon.

“Mayroon pa ring pagmomonitor ng movements ng mga turista pagpasok sa Boracay, so kailangan may pre-arranged reservations ,may QR code iyan para namomonitor lahat ng pumapasok (Monitoring the movement of tourists inside Boracay remains in place so they need to have pre-arranged reservations, QR code, to monitor every person that comes in),” he added.

For his part, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año assured that Boracay is now prepared to accept visitors. 

If in any case, a COVID-19 positive slips into the island, the agency has prepared enough facilities for isolation.

“Doon mismo sa Boracay ay mayroon tayong COVID isolation facility doon. Kung mayroong mag-positive or suspected, dadalhin agad sa mainland [Aklan] (There is a COVID isolation facility inside Boracay. In case someone tests positive or suspected of having the disease, the patient will be transferred immediately to the mainland [Aklan]),” the official said.

Well in place ang nakita namin preparations nila (Their preparations are well in place),” he assured. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

QC gov’t launches ‘Race to Zero’ campaign vs COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2020

The Quezon City government has launched ‘Race to Zero’ campaign in order to encourage barangays to intensify their search for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in their area.

The local government aims to increase the search for probable, suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases to help the local government in conducting an immediate response.

Inilunsad ng lokal na pamahalaan ang “Race to Zero” campaign na layuning makapagtala ang mga barangay ng maraming…

Posted by Quezon City Government on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Barangays that will record the best results under the campaign will receive cash incentives.

Residents are also encouraged to immediately report to their barangay if they are experiencing symptoms or had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. -AAC

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