DOTr To Deploy Buses To Transport Health Workers To Hospitals Amid Enhanced Community Quarantine

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Amid the ongoing Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has instructed road sector agencies under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to deploy buses to ferry frontline health workers, free of charge, as the country continues to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Starting 7:00 AM today, 18 March 2020, ten (10) buses will initially be deployed to serve health workers at two (2) identified pick-up points: the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), and at the BFCT East Metro Transport Terminal in Marikina City.

The free bus service, which is implemented in cooperation and close coordination with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and HM Transit, will ferry health workers to their designated hospitals on the following routes:

Route 1: (PITX – Quezon City General Hospital via Makati/Pasig)

• PITX
• Makati Medical Center
• St. Lukes Medical Center – BGC
• Rizal Medical Center
• The Medical City – Ortigas
• East Avenue Medical Center
• Philippine Heart Center
• Lung Center of the Philippines
• Quezon City General Hospital

Route 2: (PITX – San Lazaro / Chinese General Hospital via Manila/Taft)

• PITX
• Pasay City General Hospital
• Adventist Medical Center Manila
• Philippine General Hospital
• Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center
• Manila Doctors Hospital
• University of Sto. Tomas Hospital
• San Lazaro Hospital
• Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center
• Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center

Route 3: (BFCT – San Lazaro Hospital via East Ave/E. Rodriguez)

• BFCT
• Quirino Memorial Medical Center
• East Avenue Medical Center
• Philippine Heart Center
• Lung Center of the Philippines
• Providence Hospital
• Capitol Medical Center
• St. Lukes Medical Center – East Ave.
• University of Sto. Tomas Hospital
• San Lazaro Hospital

The routes are still subject to change depending on the data and requests coming from the Department of Health (DOH).

The bus service will likewise comply with the DOH containment protocols such as the observance of social distancing, body temperature checks, and regular disinfecting of vehicles.

Meanwhile, heeding DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade’s call, Grab PH President Brian Cu committed to help DOTr transport health workers to identified hospitals, wherein the passenger will not have to pay for anything. Details on the arrangement of the service will be made available soon.

Additionally, the DOTr will set up an operations center for a motorpool for use by officials and members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). This is to provide swift and unhampered mobility of the task force while the enhanced community quarantine is being enforced.

“We are racing against time to contain this deadly virus. So this initiative will truly help our frontliners do their jobs as they are the ones who are strenuously and heroically holding the line to keep our country safe. Let us do this now,” Secretary Tugade said in his order to transport officials.

On Monday, 16 March 2020, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte placed the whole of Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine amid the rising threat of COVID-19. Under the proclamation, which will be enforced until 14 April 2020, strict home quarantine in all households will be observed, mass public transportation is suspended, the provision for food and essential health services is regulated, and the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce the quarantine procedures is heightened.

Photo Source: Department of Transportation – Philippines Facebook Page