THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) continues with the mission to ferry health personnel to their workplaces daily, as its free ride for health workers rolls out on its third day. The free ride is being done amid the implementation of an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
The free bus service, which started Tuesday, March 18, 2020, is in line with the instruction of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to DOTr road sector agencies to help ferry health workers who are now at the frontline of the country’s fight against the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
From only three routes during its initial deployment, the free bus service now serves health workers on thirteen 13 routes:
Revised ROUTE 1
Meralco (Malanday)* Valenzuela City General Hospital MCU Hospital (Monumento)* Caloocan City Medical Center Tondo General Hospital Our Lady of Fatima Metropolitan Medical Center San Lazaro Hospital Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center University of Sto. Tomas Hospital
Chinese General Hospital United Doctors Medical Center (Welcome Rotonda)*
Northwest Area Revised ROUTE 2
Valenzuela Gateway Complex* Quezon City General Hospital Balintawak* MCU Hospital (Monumento)* Our Lady of Fatima University
Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center Philippine Orthopedic Center United Doctors Medical Center (Welcome Rotonda)*
Northeast Area Revised ROUTE 3
SM City SJDM (Bulacan) Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial (Caloocan) SM Fairview* Diliman Doctors Hospital Veterans Memorial Medical Center
Lung Center of the Philippines Philippine Heart Center East Avenue Medical Center Philippine Children’s Hospital Centris Station (EDSA / Quezon Ave.)*
East Area ROUTE 4
SM City Masinag* Marikina Valley Medical Center Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center BFCT East Metro Transport Terminal* Quirino Memorial Medical Center
Araneta Center Bus Terminal Robinsons Galleria* The Medical City – Ortigas
East Area ROUTE 5
Ortigas Hospital & Healthcare (Cainta)* SM City East Ortigas Pasig City General Hospital The Medical City Ortigas Robinsons Galleria*
VRP Medical Center St. Luke’s Medical Center* Rizal Medical Center
Central Area Revised ROUTE 6
Centris Station (EDSA / Quezon Ave.)* Providence Hospital Capitol Medical Center Philippine Orthopedic Center (Banawe) United Doctors Medical Center (Welcome Rotonda)*
National Children’s Hospital De Los Santos Medical Center St. Luke’s Medical Center (E. Rodriguez) UERM Memorial Medical Center MRT-3 Cubao / Araneta Center*
Central/East Area Revised ROUTE 7
Pasig City General Hospital Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral* Pasig Rotonda Rizal Medical Center The Medical City (Ortigas) Robinsons Galleria* Cardinal Santos Medical Center VRP Medical CenterNational Center for Mental Health
Makati Medical Center*
Southeast Area Revised ROUTE 8
Starmall – Alabang* SLEX Sucat Exit* Bicutan Exit Makati Medical Center* St. Luke’s Medical Center – BGC*
Southwest Area ROUTE 9
Vista Mall, Daang Hari* Perpetual Help Medical Center (Las Piñas) Las Piñas General Hospital Baclaran Market*
San Juan de Dios Educational Medical Center Pasay City General Hospital Adventist Medical Center Makati Medical Center*
Philippine General Hospital Manila Doctors Hospital United Doctors Medical Center (Welcome Rotonda)*
Southeast Area ROUTE 10 Feeder route
RITM* Asian Hospital and Medical Center Muntinlupa City Hospital Starmall – Alabang*
Southeast Area ROUTE 11
Starmall – Alabang* SLEX Sucat Exit* Bicutan Exit San Juan de Dios EFI – Hospital Gil Puyat Station LRT-1* Philippine General Hospital Manila Doctors Hospital
Southeast Area ROUTE 12
SM Molino Imus Transport Plaza Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center Baclaran Market* San Juan de Dios Educational Foundation Hospital Gil Puyat* Adventist Medical Center Manila Philippine General Hospital* Manila Doctors Hospital*
South Area ROUTE 13
Seaoil Imus Daang Hari/Aguinaldo Imus Transport Terminal* Las Piñas General Hospital Perpetual Help Medical Center
RITM* Asian Hospital and Medical Center Muntinlupa Hospital Starmall Alabang*
Buses will transport passengers to these designated routes, and vice versa at 5:00AM, 7:00AM, 1:00PM, 3:00PM, 5:00PM, and 7:00PM.
Seventy-two buses and two modern Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) have committed to transport health workers for free along the specified routes, which are still subject to change depending on the data and requests coming from the Department of Health (DOH).
Meanwhile, transport officials clarified that the free ride is not restricted to doctors and nurses only. This will also be made available to other hospital workers such as administration personnel, utility workers, security officers, and other health workers such as pharmacists, caregivers, and the like.
The bus service will likewise comply with DOH containment protocols such as the observance of social distancing, body temperature checks, and regular disinfecting of vehicles. Drivers and health workers will also be given food and water.
“Of all the distress this virus has caused, one of the good things it has brought forth is the indomitable bayanihan spirit of the Filipino people. Our frontline health workers have sacrificed so much, leaving the comfort of their homes to fulfill their sworn duty to save lives. And now, we have our drivers too to safely bring our warriors to the battlefield. Saludo ako sa inyong lahat!”, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade expressed.
The same bus service scheme is also being advised to be replicated for all regions in Luzon while the enhanced community quarantine is being enforced.
The free bus service is implemented in cooperation and close coordination with the Office of the President, Office of the Solicitor General, Supreme Court, House of Representative, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), and private bus companies such as HM Transport, San Agustin, MetroExpress, RRCG, Precious Grace, Ceres, Jac Liner, St. Rose, Pamana, Jasper Jean, Pascual, Hi-Star, Ube Express, Hafti Transport, G-Liner, Thelman Transit, and automotive company Foton.