DAVAO

Ride-hailing app lends scooters to SPMC frontliners

Photo by SPMC chief of clinics Dr. Ricardo Audan

A RIDE-hailing company provided free scooters to Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) frontline health workers affected by the suspension of mass transportation under the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Dr. Ricardo Audan, SPMC chief of clinic and Health Emergency Management Bureau (HEMB), said the scooters from GrabWheels arrived in their facility on Tuesday, April 7, to be used by their frontliners.

SPMC is one of the identified healthcare facilities in the region to cater to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients.

Audan said during the implementation of the ECQ in Davao City, public transportation was halted, which affects some of their healthcare workers. Although there are free buses provided to them, there are still areas where these vehicles cannot pass.

"Since not all can be accommodated by the City Government bus route, GrabWheels decided to lend us scooters for our frontliners as their main service transport from home to SPMC and vice versa," Audan said.

GrabWheels lent 10 scooters with a speed of 15 kilometers per hour. It would help alleviate the concern of some SPMC employees when it comes to transportation.

Audan thanked Brian Matthew Cu, Grab Philippines president, for the idea and for their support to SPMC frontliners and to Dr. Maria Theresa Bad-ang for introducing Cu to him.

"In this time of ECQ wherein public transportation is not available, then this is the best time to avail to continue their service and report for work," Audan said.

He added that the units also include protective helmets and chargers.

There are more six scooters to be provided by GrabWheels pending the approval coming from Manila.

Given the limited number of units, Audan said that only those frontliners who also know how to bike or at least drive and those residing with a distance not more than 10 kilometers from the hospital can avail themselves of the free scooters.

Audan acknowledged the sacrifice their frontline workers are doing to help combat the deadly virus in the city but risking themselves for possible infection in the process.

He also thanked the continuous support of the public to their personnel, boosting their morale to continue performing their duties.


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