MANILA — Bus companies and partners participating in the Department of Transportation’s Free Ride for Health Workers Program get to receive fuel subsidies in order to sustain the continued operation of the program, as Luzon remains under enhanced community quarantine.
This initiative stems from the directive of DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to aid bus companies and partners that have provided support to ferry health workers to their designated hospitals amid the increasing threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country.
The fuel subsidy program for participating bus units was made possible through the partnership of the DOTr with Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc.
“For our buses to continue bringing our front liners to their medical communities, we need to at least ease their burden. With that, we are grateful for our donor, [Phoenix Petroleum Ph]. Malaking tulong ho ito para magtuluy-tuloy tayo sa serbisyo ng pagtulong sa ating mga health workers… Malaking tulong ho ito sa mga modernong bayani nating nagsasakripisyo para sa ating mga kababayan (This is a huge help for the continuous service to our health workers, our modern-day heroes making sacrifices for their countrymen),” Tugade said.
For the initial implementation of the fuel subsidy program, sixty private bus companies will each be given an allocation of 50 liters of fuel daily.
For bus companies to avail of the subsidy, bus units should at least complete two round trips on a given day. They will be provided with a voucher at different staging areas. The vouchers will be certified and signed by the staging area leader and will then be signed thereafter by the authorized representative at the assigned gas stations.
Seven Phoenix gas stations have already identified where the participating private bus units can avail of the subsidy:
PX RETAIL CODO-Timog and PNX RETAIL CODO-Bahay Toro in Quezon City; PNX RETAIL CODO-Mall of Asia in Pasay City; PNX AFA PSPC-NAIA Road in Parañaque City; PNX RETAIL CODO-Malanday 1 in Valenzuela; PNX RETAIL CODO-Potrero in Malabon; and PNX AFA PSPC-Filinvest-Northgate in Alabang, Muntinlupa.
Phoenix Petroleoum Philippines, Inc. Senior Vice President Raymond Zorilla expressed their company’s full support to the DOTr Free Ride For Health Workers Program, saying that they want to contribute in making traveling easier for health workers, who, they believe, play a very important role in the current situation.
“Phoenix is committed to our goal of becoming an indispensable partner of everyone whose life we touch, and we wanted to show to the people that even during a crisis like this, Phoenix is here to serve them and even extend more help to those in need,” Zorilla said.
“We partnered with DOTr because we support the government’s efforts in helping our health workers. Their role in this situation is crucial, so we want to make it easier for these brave individuals. Through this initiative, we will be able to help more people, while staying true to our ‘Sasamahan ka ng Phoenix’ battlecry,” he added.
Since its initial launch on March 18, the DOTr Free Bus Service Program for Health Workers has transported 15,403 medical front-liners as of March 30.
From its initial three routes during its first day of operations, the program, which operates 24/7 now serves 19 routes. (DOTr PR)