Angkas will deploy 1,000 motorcycle riders to 10 hospitals in Metro Manila as it teamed up with the government to provide medical workers with transportation during the strict lockdown.

The government’s task force on COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) on Friday accepted the offer for free service which the motorcycle taxi-hailing platform is extending for frontline healthcare workers.

Angkas said the Department of Health (DoH) recommended 10 hospitals for the ride service: the Philippine General Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, the East Avenue Medical Center, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Quezon City General Hospital, Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, and Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

“After the shift, makauwi sila ng maayos (they can return home safely),” Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George I. Royeca said. The service will run until Aug. 18 when the ongoing modified enhanced community quarantine will be lifted.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is collaborating with Angkas for emergency situations when its services will be needed.

“This endeavor will ensure that our medical frontliners can perform their tasks and not be hampered by lack of transportation on their way [to] work, and [going] back home,” said Lieutenant General Guillermo T. Eleazar, PNP chief of directorial staff and commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

Moreover, Angkas will also give out the protective shields it designed and produced to hospital staff who ride their own motorcycles for work. The shields, which are approved by the government’s task force, are supposed to serve as a barrier to limit virus transmission between the driver and the pillion passenger.

The barriers are added protection from potential virus transmission for the three in 10 riders who lift their helmets and remove their face shields at times when they feel hot, according to Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año. — Adam J. Ang