The Pasay City local government has tapped bikers of motorcycle ride-hailing firm Angkas as contact tracers to beef up the city's efforts against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
This was after Angkas teamed up with the local government unit (LGU) to provide free rides and protective shields for healthcare workers in the city as part of its initiative to support frontliners amid the health crisis.
Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca said their bikers will be trained and deployed as contact tracers upon the request of Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano.
"To help in our country's efforts with contact tracing, certain Angkas bikers will also be trained and deployed to help in this aspect,” Royeca said.
Royeca also said that Angkas will be working closely with the Pasay City LGU in the assignment of bikers who will provide free rides to medical frontliners, specifically to those who are working in Pasay City General Hospital and the Philippine Air Force General Hospital.
"This service will help make their transport easier especially as commuting has become scarcer during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ)," he added.
"It is an honor to serve our medical frontliners in the city of Pasay which holds a strategic location in the NCR. Angkas bikers will be making it easier for them to go to work, while our shields will add an extra level of protection for HCWs who own and use their own bikes," Royeca said.
For her part, Rubiano thanked Angkas, adding that the donations will be a big help in supporting healthcare workers in the city.
"This is really a big help especially to our frontliners who are serving the people of Pasay. As modes of public transportation are suspended, this initiative is a great help for employees to go to work and continue to serve our constituents," Rubiano said in Filipino during a brief turnover ceremony at the Pasay City Hall on Friday.
The Pasay City LGU has been active in implementing measures to contain the spread of the virus, such as systematic testing and strict implementation of minimum health protocols in the barangay levels.
Apart from its partnership with Pasay City, Angkas has earlier teamed up with the LGUs of Manila and Pasig City to also provide their healthcare workers with free rides and shields.
Angkas also launched last week its collaboration with the National Task Force against COVID, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide 1,000 barrier shields, and to deploy a thousand bikers for medical frontliners.