Motorcycle ride-hailing app ,Angkas has partnered with the government to deploy 1,000 bikers for healthcare workers in 10 hospitals in Metro Manila as well as free shields for biker medical frontliners.
As recommended by the Department of Health, Angkas will deploy 1,000 of its bikers for free to medical front liners 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 the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.
The Angkas riders will be on standby at these participating hospitals at the end of the HCWs’ shifts.
This is usually the time that the frontliners are fatigued and would benefit more from transportation aid. The complementary Angkas service will run until the end of MECQ, which is August 18.
At the same time, Angkas will be giving protective shields directly to the HCWs 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 ‘time out’ in order to review their current COVID-19 strategies and recalibrate accordingly.
“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,” he said.
Royeca said that the shields are given free of charge.
Royeca also described the Angkas initiatives 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, said that his team is closely coordinating with Angkas, especially in emergency situations.
He said, “We will be monitoring, for example, transportation terminals or locations of stranded [HCWs]. Kung saan kailangan ang ANGKAS riders, we will tell George so he can tell his bikers.”
Lt. Gen. Eleazar also emphasized that the partnership initiated by Angkas for medical frontliners gives the public a glimpse of what the country could achieve if everyone would work together to defeat the virus.
“This endeavor will ensure that our medical frontliners can perform their tasks and not be hampered by lack of transportations on their way for work, and back home,” he stressed.
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 under the hot weather.
“Once we reviewed the videos and CCTV along the road, around 30 percentof those who use motorbikes lift their face shields because they find it 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.