PNP augments free rides for stranded passengers

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) will be providing free rides to health workers and other essential personnel amid the stringent quarantine measures in Luzon.

Police Brigadier General Joselito Daniel, Police Community Affairs and Development Group (PCADG) director, said in coordination with the PNP-Logistics Support Service (LSS) they will be providing free rides for medical workers, bank employees, grocery store employees and other frontline workers exempted from the quarantine.

Public transport systems in Luzon are suspended as part of the lockdown, food and health services are regulated, and more uniformed men are deployed to ensure that people would stay in their homes to contain the novel coronavirus, the pathogen that causes Covid-19.

The free rides will be available from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will last for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.

Different routes within Metro Manila up to the provincial boundaries are as follows:

Vehicle 1 Route: Crame to Novaliches Bayan and vice versa

• EDSA Cubao

• East Avenue

• Quezon Memorial Circle

• Commonwealth

• SM Fairview

• Novaliches Bayan

Vehicle 2 Route: Crame to Antipolo via Marcos Highway

• EDSA Cubao

• Marikina

Antipolo

Vehicle 3 Route: Crame to Bacoor, Cavite via Edsa/Parañaque Service Road and vice versa

• EDSA South Bound

• Airport Road

• Zapote

Vehicle 4 Route: Crame to Valenzuela via EDSA and vice versa

• Crame EDSA North Bound

• Balintawak

• Monumento

• Valenzuela

Daniel said public health and safety protocols will be observed in the free rides, including thermal scanning of passengers.

He said social distancing or a gap of at least one meter will be observed to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission while trucks will be disinfected before and after every trip.

On Thursday, the PCADG extended help by providing food, water and a ride home to seven construction workers who had intended to walk from Parañaque to their homes in Tarlac City.

The group had walked for eight hours and reached Muñoz in Quezon City when they caught the attention of the netizens who shared their story on social media.

This also caught the attention of the PCADG, which immediately offered a vehicle to bring them home.

Meanwhile, PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said the PNP may also deploy its trucks to transport cargo and other basic goods.

"Yes, anytime PNP is tapped by IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), the Department of Health or Department of Agriculture, we will respond," Banac said.

"At present, our trucks are used to transport personnel to and from quarantine control stations or checkpoints," he added. (SunStar Philippines)