By Alex San Juan
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on March 27, Friday, additional routes of its free bus service program for frontline health workers affected by the mass transportation shutdown in the ongoing month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
In an advisory, the DOTr said that its bus service has been expanded to 18 routes beginning Friday, from the three routes it launched during the initial implementation of the program on March 18.
Buses are deployed daily to ferry health workers to their designated hospitals at 5 a.m., 7 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. This is to ensure mobility of frontliners as the country continuous to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the DOTr, the free bus service is not just for doctors and nurses, but also caters to other hospital staff such as administrative personnel, utility workers, security officers, and pharmacists.
Here are the two new routes added to the free ride for health workers:
North East Area
SM City SJDM*
North Caloocan Doctors Hospital
Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial (Caloocan)
Bagong Silang Market
National Center for Mental Health (Camarin)
Caloocan City North Medical Center
Novaliches Market/Queensberry Hospital
Bernardino General Hospital II
SM Fairview/Commonwealth Hospital & MC*
South West Area
Robinsons Place General Trias/Divine Grace Medical Center
San Pedro Calungsod Medical Center (Kawit)*
Binakayan Hospital and Medical Center.
St. Dominic Medical Center (Bacoor)
Within a week of implementation, the DOTr said that at least 106 buses have been deployed, which catered to cater to 1,402 health workers.
The Department also assured that the buses offering free rides comply strictly with containment protocols set by the Department of Health, which includes the observance of physical distancing, body temperature checks, and the regular disinfection of vehicles.
This free bus service is implemented in cooperation and close coordination with multiple government agencies and private bus companies.