DOTr: Free rides program for healthcare workers, other essential workers to continue in GCQ areas

(Eagle News) — The free rides program for healthcare workers and other essential workers will continue even in areas that are now under a general community quarantine.

The Department of Transportation made the announcement in a statement released a day after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced the community quarantines for parts of the country that will take effect today, May 14.

The free rides program was first launched to ensure the mobility of authorized people outside residences and healthcare workers amid the restrictions imposed during the enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine.

“Sa pamamagitan ng proyektong ito sa ilalim ng Service Contracting Progam, hangad natin na mailibre ang pamasahe ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na ngayong may pandemya (Through the free rides under the Service Contracting Program, we hope our countrymen will no longer pay for fare, especially during this pandemic),” the DOTr said.

It said the money that was supposed to be allotted for fare can be used for the purchase of other essentials.

“Nais nating makabawas kahit paano sa bigat na inyong pasan (We want to somehow alleviate your burden),” the department said.

Apart from Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal are under the GCQ with heightened restrictions until May 31.

Under this community quarantine, only essential travel into and out of the subject areas shall be allowed.

Public transportation shall remain operational but at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the DOTr guidelines.

The use of active transportation shall also be promoted.

Also under GCQ  are specific areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region, such as Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Abra; Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Puerto Princesa in Region 4-B; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao City in Region 11; and Lanao del Sur in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.