The government has discussed the resumption of operations of ride-hailing motorcycle taxis to provide adequate mass transportation for healthcare workers and returning employees amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
National Policy against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Thursday said members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the National Task Force on Covid-19 met with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss the increase in the operation of public utility vehicles and allow ride-hailing motorcycle companies to resume ride-booking services.
“The recommendation [was] to ensure adequate mass transportation for health workers and general workers as we open up more economy and to empower citizens to regain their livelihood and sustainable incomes,” Galvez said during the virtual launching of the “Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat” campaign.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also mentioned that the IATF has already endorsed the resumption of the Angkas’ operation.
“We also welcome the further contributions on how to improve the transportation sector,” Roque said, as he cited various assistance offered by the private sector to the government in order to respond to the pandemic.
“I think that would be something that can be agreed upon on the basis of consensus in the upcoming full Cabinet meeting,” Roque said, referring to the government’s plan to improve public transportation amid the pandemic.
On the other hand, Galvez vowed that the government will continue supporting the businesses as the country gradually shifts to the new normal.
Galvez said the private sector and various businesses have helped the government deal with the unprecedented challenges posed by the health crisis.
He also cited the huge contribution of the private sector to the government’s efforts to ramp up the country’s testing capacity and treating capability, including the PHP2 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) sets donation, which he said helped secure the safety of medical professionals and other healthcare workers.
“As we enter the third phase of the national action plan against Covid-19, the government will be banking again (on) the continued support (of) the business community — as we shift towards the full opening of our economy — as we have emphasized from time to time, we cannot afford to let our guard down at this crucial stage,” Galvez said.
The chief implementer said the launching of the Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign is “timely and very crucial” in the country’s battle against the dreaded virus.
“This initiative will enable us to harness the bayanihan spirit between public and private sector in rebuilding our economy,” Galvez said. “It is very important for the national government, private sector, and the local government units to work together as a team, as we revive our economy by being mindful of health safety.”
Galvez assured that the government will work double-time to implement all necessary strategies in order to bring down the number of Covid-19 active and new cases on the ground.
“This is to ensure and allow our economy to fully recover 100 percent,” he said.
Further, Galvez reiterated that the public should not be complacent.
“Although there are very good signs that the Covid-19 curve is flattening and the cases are steadily declining, particularly in the NCR [National Capital Region], we cannot afford to let our guard down, we cannot be complacent at this crucial time,” he said. “We really need the support of the private sector to educate our people.”
The “Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat” campaign is a collective initiative by some of the biggest corporations and brands across various industries in the country.
It was also established to encourage various businesses to prioritize health and safety while expanding their operations. (PNA)