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Duterte to require PNP escorts for ambulances trapped in traffic jam

President Rodrigo Duterte will task the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Highway Patrol Group to escort ambulances in Metro Manila to ensure that patients needing urgent care reach hospitals on time.

The President made the comment in response to an Agence France Presse report revealing a number of incidents where patients aboard ambulances die on their way to hospitals because roads, including emergency lanes, are congested with vehicles.

The same report also cited some drivers who refuse to give way.

“I will ask the MMDA and the PNP Highway Patrol Group…pag emergency…pag may sirena, hilahin na lang [ng police escort],” Duterte said.

“That would be mandatory for them,” Duterte added.

Initially, the President said he finds it hard to answer queries on how to address the perils brought about by the gridlock in the metropolis, such as those patients dying in ambulances on their way to hospitals.

“Walang sagot riyan. Helicopter siguro, angklahan mo,” Duterte added.

Earlier, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called on ambulance drivers to look for roads free of traffic jams or consider using choppers as air ambulance.

“Kung ganoon kaselan ang problema, DOH should initiate it. The secretary of the Department of Health and the DND should agree on how to do it,” Panelo said.

“The DOH can have it proposed in their next budget hearing, or ask the help of other agencies in buying choppers to be used as an ambulance,” Panelo added. —LDF, GMA News