UV Express vans tapped to transport health workers to hospitals

ANTICIPATING a prolonged enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces, a party-list lawmaker tapped several UV Express vans to provide free transportation for health care workers frontlining at the East Ave. Medical Center, National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) and Philippine Children's Medical Center (PCMC) in the fight against the dreaded COVID-19 virus.

Ang Probinsyano party-list Rep. Ronnie Ong said this initiative will not only make life easier for doctors and medical staff who have to walk for hours to go to work because of the unavailability of public transport, but it would also provide livelihood for the hundreds of UV Express drivers who were economically dislocated because of the suspension of all public transport.

"We decided to tap UV express vans to augment the needed transport support for health workers. This is also a way to help drivers who have no current source of income due to the enhanced community quarantine," said Ong.

Ong said he has already talked to several drivers who are more than willing to participate in this initiative starting March 24 until April 12. And to make sure that the drivers are properly protected and would not become carriers themselves, Ong said he would provide them with full PPE, alcohol and vitamins and all their vehicles are sanitized in every trip.

Ong said that he has already made arrangements with Transportation Undersecretary Mark De Leon, Interior Sec. Eduardo Año, Interior Usec. Marjorie Jalosjos, Mr. Joel Bolano of Land Transportation Office (LTO), National Kidney Transplant (NKTI) Exec Dir Rose Liquete, Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) Exec Dir Julius Lecciones and East Ave Medical Center Exec Dir Alfonso Nunez who all expressed support for this initiative.

"I'm really thankful that everyone is supportive of this project. We will begin implementing this project today. This kind support is very important because we could be on this kind of situation for a much longer period than what was initially anticipated. We should help our health care workers," said Ong.