The provincial government of Ilocos Norte’s “Libreng Sakay” program has benefited a total of 6,105 essential workers who commute daily to work in this time of health crisis.
Running for nine weeks now since the province was placed under enhanced community quarantine, the free transport service will continue for as long as the public transport system has not gone back yet to regular operation.
According to Cipriano “Perry” Martinez, consultant of the Metro Ilocos Norte Council (MINC), the “Libreng Sakay” was started last March 20 to provide free transport services to medical workers, bank employees, grocery store employees and other front-liners who are authorized to travel outside their residences.
“We (MINC) provided fuel subsidy to our jeepney and bus drivers and operators and shouldered also their minimum wage rate which is PHP340 per day,” he said in a press conference on Thursday.
Martinez said this will be a “continuing operation until the quarantine is lifted,” citing they have introduced and expanded their routes from the provincial boundaries all the way to where the front-liners’ work stations are located.
Ilocos Norte remains under modified general community quarantine and public transport is subject to the guidelines of the Department of Transportation (DOTr). (PNA)