OPAV stops free rides as city goes on GCQ
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - August 4, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — After almost five months of providing free transportation to all medical frontliners, the “Malasakit Bus ni Tatay at Kuya” of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) had its last trip yesterday.

OPAV stopped the free rides for medical workers after Cebu City’s transition on Saturday to general community quarantine where public transportation, except for public utility jeepneys, is back in operation.

 On March 19, the presidential liaison office started deploying 10 to 15 buses daily from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. servicing the routes left by public transport due to quarantine restrictions.

According to OPAV, the free bus transport had a total 80,000 ridership during its operation period.

"OPAV and the Cristina Lee Dino Foundation, who sponsored the free bus service, continuously salute all healthcare workers, who have heroically continued to be the first line of defense against the pandemic," an OPAV statement reads.

 OPAV also reminded the public that despite the easing up of quarantine restrictions, the virus is still around and everyone should continue to observe the usual health protocols. Everyone is also encouraged to respect each other by wearing face mask properly, practicing proper hand washing, and maintaining physical distancing.

Meanwhile, the free shuttle and ferry service for medical frontliners of the Office of the Vice President has also served 8,000 passengers since it started 24 days ago.

The free transport is available in Cebu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Consolacion, Talamban, and Naga City. The free ferry service is also serving frontliners from the mainland in Lapu-Lapu City to Olango Island and vice versa.  — FPL (FREEMAN)

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