AROUND 1,000 health workers from the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and nearby hospitals benefit from the ongoing free daily Malasakit bus service.
The Malasakit “Bus ni Tatay at Kuya” was initiated by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) and supported by President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bong Go, to provide transportation for the frontliners during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Opav first launched the free transportation service in March 2020 during the first ECQ after Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, observed that frontliners had difficulty in reporting for duty at the hospitals and going home after work with the absence of public transportation.
Opav again deployed 10 buses on June 17, five days after the bus service stopped when Cebu was placed anew under general community quarantine. The bus service starts at 5 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m.
These buses serve four routes: From Fuente Osmena to SM Consolacion in the north; south up to Minglanilla Plaza; west up to Brgy. Marigondon in Lapu-Lapu City; and east up to Talamban Gym in Brgy. Talamban, Cebu City.
Each Malasakit bus operates six trips a day, three trips early in the morning and another three in the afternoon and at night.
During the first ECQ, Opav deployed 12 Malasakit buses to serve the four routes since no public transportation was allowed to operate.
Opav launched the Malasakit “Bus ni Tatay at Kuya” on March 19, in partnership with the Vallacar Transit Inc.
The Cristina Lee Dino Foundation shoulders the gasoline expenses and the salary of the drivers of the Malasakit buses. (PR)