Medical frontliners in the city of Manila will now be provided with free motorcycle rides and shields after motorcycle-taxi firm Angkas partnered with Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, as part of its continuing campaign to assist healthcare workers during the modified lockdown in the capital region.
Domagoso personally received the donation of motorcycle shields from Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca at a turn-over ceremony at the Manila City Hall on Monday morning (Aug. 10).
According to Royeca, Angkas bikers will be deployed to the city's six district hospitals -- Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Ospital ng Tondo, Sta. Ana Hospital, and Justice Jose Abad Santos Memorial Hospital -- to ferry medical frontliners after their shifts.
"The local government unit and the cities in the National Capital Region are the key to recovering lost ground from COVID-19. Their hospitals are the hubs where healthcare workers fight the battle against the virus every single day," Royeca said in a statement.
"We believe that by providing our healthcare workers the services that they need steadily and consistently, and by focusing on these locations in partnership with the LGUs, we can make a difference," he added.
The backpack shield designed by Angkas, which will also be distributed for free to the healthcare workers in the city, has been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and passed the rigorous review of Total Control, a U.S.-based motorcycle safety school that monitors and ensures the safety of motorcycle transport in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines.
The shield, Angkas said, acts as an additional layer of protection that can help reduce or prevent transmission of the virus between the passenger and driver.
Royeca said this initiative is Angkas' way to honor the contribution of doctors, nurses, and other frontliners who recently asked for a two-week "timeout" by way of stricter quarantine measures due to the continuous spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
"We recognize the immense contribution that our healthcare workers and frontliners are doing to stem the tide of the coronavirus. The free shields will be given to those who do own bikes, protecting them from the viruses that are floating in the air. Our Angkas bikers, in ferrying them to and from the hospitals, can not only protect them, but also alleviate them from a lot of the stress that comes with contending with traffic," he explained.
Last week, the motorcycle ride-hailing firm partnered with the Philippine National Police, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the National Task Force against COVID-19 to provide free shields and rides to healthcare workers in Metro Manila.
Since the announcement of their partnership last Friday, a total of 1,000 shields are being distributed, while 1,000 Angkas bikers have been assigned to 10 hospitals recommended by the Department of Health.