MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) has started providing free transportation to essential workers such as health professionals, food industry personnel and quarantine-exempt workers on Tuesday night.
Army spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala, in a statement Wednesday, said 18 military vehicles were deployed to operate within Metro Manila and its neighboring areas.
These vehicles are from the Army Headquarters and Headquarters Support Group and are utilized to transport these essential workers following the declaration of public transportation ban under the enhanced community quarantine now in effect all over Luzon.
Zagala said Army vehicles’ routes include CAVITEX (Cavite Expressway) to Manila area and vice versa; SM Mall of Asia to Parañaque City and vice versa; Guadalupe to SM North Edsa, Quezon City, and vice versa; Ortigas Center to Sampaloc, Manila area and vice versa; Ortigas, Mandaluyong to Taytay, Rizal area and vice versa; Araneta Center Cubao to SM Masinag, Antipolo City and vice versa; as well as SM North Edsa to Fairview Terraces, Quezon City, and vice versa.
The Army will also dispatch the designated vehicles to carry passengers along additional routes including CAVITEX to Lawton Manila; SLEX to Lawton Plaza, Taguig to NAIA Terminal 1, 2; and BGC Taguig to NAIA Terminal 3.
“The Army is extending its capabilities in order to provide the support it can give especially in transporting essential personnel to their place of destination. We still encourage non-essential personnel to cooperate with the government and just stay at home,” PA chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a total of 1,442 individuals have availed of the free rides.
“We commend our medical professionals, food industry workers, and other essential personnel who provide the needs for our people in this time of medical crisis,” he added.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines acting spokesperson Maj. Gen. Ernesto Torres said General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City has also dispatched two buses and four trucks to transport stranded health workers from Edsa Santolan to Balintawak and vice versa.
“This is part of the effort of the Inter-Agency (Task Force) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF EID) in the implementation of expanded community quarantine,” he added. (PNA)