Makati Mayor Abby Binay has ordered the distribution of around P11.9 million in financial assistance to almost 6,000 tricycle drivers living in the city who are affected by the lockdown and land public transport restrictions imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.
The mayor said the initial amount of P2,000 for each of the city’s 5,946 tricycle drivers is meant to help them and their families get through the first two weeks of the enhanced community quarantine period.
She added the city government is also preparing a separate financial package for jeepney drivers.
Earlier, Makati started deploying shuttle buses for front liners and other employees going to and from Ospital ng Makati amid the increasing number of cases relative to COVID-19.
Binay ordered the deployment of buses to ferry doctors, nurses and other employees to and from OsMak to ensure their continuous operations despite the travel restrictions imposed by the government on public transport in line with the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
Binay said the buses will be coming daily from three points of origin - Light Railway Transit - Buendia, Puregold Makati and Waterfun-C5 - to pick up hospital personnel reporting for duty.
She added employees going home from work will also be picked up from designated areas near OsMak and dropped off near their homes.
The mayor, at the same time, assured residents that Makati Health Plus Program cards, better known as Yellow Card, expiring within the enhanced community quarantine period will still be valid for another 30 days.
This will ensure the continuous delivery of social services to all residents of the city, especially the sick and the elderly.
“Makati has automatically granted a 30-day extension on all Yellow Cards. So if your card is expiring between March 15 and April 12, or the quarantine period, you don’t have to worry about not being able to use them. You will still be able to get free medicine and continue to enjoy all the health and social services that come with it,” the mayor explained.
The automatic 30-day extension was given to encourage residents to stay in the safety of their homes throughout the quarantine period.
Binay also discouraged residents from going to city hall for renewals and applications. She added that the processing of the city’s Makatizen Card has also been suspended. New applications will not be entertained for now.
“I urge my dear Makatizens to please stay at home. Please do not go out unless it is absolutely necessary. We are doing everything we can to have everything you need delivered to you so you don’t have to step out. Ayaw po naming madagdagan pa ang bilang ng mga maysakit dito sa ating lungsod,” the city chief executive said.
The city has also released a list of contact persons per barangay so residents with medical concerns or emergencies can receive help faster.
The mayor also reminded residents to observe the curfew from 8pm to 5am which is being strictly enforced in the city.
Meanwhile, health workers of the Makati Health Department (MHD), geared up in PPE (personal protective equipment), have continued to conduct thorough disinfection operations daily in various barangays and public places.
The citywide disinfection and sanitation drive against the novel coronavirus had started last February when Mayor Binay placed city health workers and rescue personnel on high alert status, following the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global health emergency due to the rapid spread of the disease.
New safety protocols adopted by the city through an Executive Order and City Council Resolutions passed recently include the closure of malls and similar establishments, public schools and facilities, and imposition of a citywide curfew from 8pm to 5am from March 16 to April 14, 2020.
All frontline workers of the city government in disaster response and management remain on active duty, while other departments and offices have their own skeletal staffing who are working from home and on call to respond to any eventuality.