The Department of Transportation (DOTr) lauded the “unparalleled” role of healthcare and other frontliners in the on-going fight to liberate the country from the clutches of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as the nation celebrated the proclamation of the 123rd Independence Day on Saturday, June 12.
DOTr Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon Jr. said the pandemic “brought out the heroic contributions” of medical and economic frontliners in the government’s whole-of-nation approach against the health crisis, and in the efforts to “heal” and “recover” from its devastating effects.
“Itong laban natin sa pandemyang ito ay nagbunga ng mga bagong bayani para sa ating bayan. Ang ating mga frontliners, ating mga medical health workers ay patuloy na nakikidigma laban sa pandemya (This fight against the pandemic produced a new breed of hearoes for our country. Our frontliners, our medical frontline health workers are continuously waging the fight against this pandemic),” Tuazon said.
Top officials of the DOTr conducted a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at its central office in Clark, Pampanga to mark and honor the nation’s Independence Day. Other DOTr officials and employees joined the rites virtually.
With the theme “Kalayaan 2021: Diwa sa Pagkakaisa at Paghilom ng Bayan,” the DOTr and its attached agencies in the road, railway, maritime, and aviation sectors upheld the importance of freedom and unity as the country moves towards healing and recovery amid the global health crisis, Tuazon said.
The official added that DOTr Secretary Art Tugade “supports frontliners through transformational transport programs and initiatives.”
He highlighted the DOTr Free Ride Program for health workers and authorized persons outside residence (APORs) wherein essential travelers can avail of free transportation to and from their places of work.
The “Libreng Sakay” program initiated by Tugade is now being carried out with the participation of drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) who are being paid on a per kilometer run under the Service Contracting Program, Tuazon said.
He likened the frontliners who risk their lives amid the pandemic to the national heroes who paid the ultimate price of sacrificing themselves just so the country could achieve the freedom that the Filipinos enjoy now.
He further enjoined government workers to help President Duterte fulfill the promise of a “comfortable life” for all Filipinos “by ensuring the safety and convenience of the riding public.”