Motorcycle ride-hailing app Angkas has partnered with the government to deploy 1,000 bikers for the healthcare workers in 10 hospitals in Metro Manila and provide free shields to the biker medical frontliners.
As recommended by the Department of Health, Angkas will deploy the bikers for free to the medical frontliners working in Philippine General Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Quezon City General Hospital, Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, Quirino Memorial Medical Center and Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.
The Angkas riders will be on standby at these participating hospitals at the end of the workers’ shifts.
That is usually the time that the frontliners are tired and should benefit more from transportation aid. The Angkas service will run until the end of the MECQ, which is Aug. 18.
At the same time, Angkas will be giving protective shields directly to the workers who own motor bikes and use them as transportation for their work, which has been classified as an essential service.
Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca honored the contribution of the doctors, nurses and other frontliners who, only a week ago, asked for a two-week ‘timeout’ to review their current COVID-19 strategies and recalibrate accordingly.
“Angkas stands by our HCWs [health care workers] in the 10 hospitals given by the DOH [Department of Health]. After the shift, makakauwi sila ng maayos
. We are coordinating with the DOH in terms of the government hospital needs,” he said.
Royeca said the shields would be given free of charge.
He described the Angkas initiative as “one of the measures providing assistance. It is an example of the public and private sectors working together in partnership.
“They are complementary to other government measures, like the NTF’s provision of dorms and hotels for the HCWs.”
Maj. General Guillermo Eleazar, PNP Chief Directorial staff and Commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, says his team is closely coordinating with Angkas, especially in emergency situations.
“We will be monitoring, for example, transportation terminals or the locations of stranded [HCWs]. Kung saan kailangan ang
ANGKAS riders, we will tell George so he can tell his bikers.”
Eleazar says the partnership initiated by Angkas for medical frontliners gives the public a glimpse of what the country could achieve if everyone worked together to defeat the virus.
“This endeavor will ensure that our medical frontliners can perform their tasks and not be hampered by the lack of transportations on their way to work, and back,” he said.
DILG Secretary and NTF Vice Chairman Eduardo Año accepted the free ride services and free shields donated by Angkas. He acknowledged that the Angkas shield could increase the level of protection for both bikers and riders, noting that bikers habitually remove their helmets and even face shields once they sweat in the hot weather.