MANILA - Motorcycle ride-hailing firm Angkas on Friday said it has partnered with the country's coronavirus task force and the Philippine National Police to provide free transport and shields for frontliners.
At least 1,000 riders will be deployed to 10 hospitals to ferry medical health workers from work to their homes until Aug. 18, or the end of the modified enhanced community quarantine period in Metro Manila and selected areas, Angkas said in a statement.
The riders will transport workers from 10 hospitals recommended by the Health Department, namely:
- East Avenue Medical Center
- Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital
- Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital
- National Kidney and Transplant Institute
- Ospital ng Maynila,
- Ospital ng Sampaloc
- Quezon City General Hospital
- Quirino Memorial Medical Center
- Philippine General Hospital
- San Lazaro Hospital
Protective shields will also be donated to health care workers who own motorbikes, it said.
The coronavirus task force earlier approved Angkas' design, despite opposition from motorcycle groups who have said the barriers are "unsafe."
DILG Secretary and National Task Force Vice Chairman Eduardo Año backed the use of protective shields. He said at least 30 percent of riders lift their helmets when it's hot.
"In traffic and at the intersections, they lift their helmets and remove their face shields. That’s when transmission can happen. With the barrier shield, even if they remove the helmet by instinct, they are still protected,” Año said.
“Angkas stands by our HCWs in the 10 hospitals given by the DOH. After the shift, makauwi sila ng maayos. We are coordinating with the DOH in terms of the government hospital needs," Angkas said.
Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna are under modified enhanced community quarantine until Aug.18. The government earlier approved back-riding for essential workers even during the MECQ period.