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Angkas deploys riders to give rides to health workers, donates motorcycle barriers

At least 1,000 riders from ride-hailing firm Angkas will provide transportation services to medical frontliners amid the limited public transportion under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Angkas partnered with the National Task Force COVID-19 and Joint Task Force COVID Shield in giving assistance to the health workers.

JTF COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar explained that the riders would be deployed in hospitals in Metro Manila to fetch health workers.

"Initially, mayroon tayong list na binigay ng DOH (Department of Health)... doon sila magi-standby. Probably itong ating mga health workers sa umaga, okay pa 'yung biyahe nila, masigla pa pero after their shift, ito 'yung mga pagod na so naka-standby sila doon para ihatid sila sa bahay," Eleazar said at an event in Camp Crame.

"After that puwedeng may arrangement na susunduin sila kinabukasan kung sakali and this will be done during the rest of our MECQ period, hanggang August 18. Tignan natin kung ano ang puwedeng gawin pa after that," he added.

Eleazar said the priority hospitals where the riders will be deployed are Philippine General Hospital, Manila City; San Lazaro Hospital, Manila City; East Avenue Medical Center, Quezon City; Ospital ng Sampaloc, Manila City; and Tala Hospital, Caloocan City.

Other priority hospitals are National Kidney Institute, Quezon City General Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila, Lung Center of the Philippines, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, and Fabella Hospital.

Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca said the riders who will be deployed will be compensated. He said the matter is being coordinated with the Department of Health.

"Tayo po ay nakikipag-coordinate naman sa DOH in terms of the government  hospitals need. Iba-iba po kasi per hospital... maganda po sana after the shift habang pagod, makauwi po sila ng maayos," Royeca said.

Donated barriers

Aside from giving free rides, a total of 1,000 motorcycle barriers were also donated by Angkas, which will also be utilized by the health workers, especially those who own motorcycles at home.

"Kaya nandito ang DRDO ng NCRPO after that ituturnover natin sa kanila. It will be given doon sa mga health workers, priority ito sa kanila... health workers at 'yung pamilya nila na mayroong motor," Eleazar said.

"Through our police stations, sila ngayon ang maghahanap o sila ang lalapitan para madistribute ito, the 1,000 shields na para sa mga health workers natin at kanilang pamilya na mayroong motor," he added.

Royeca's design of barrier was approved by the national government for back-riding on motorcycles. --KBK, GMA News