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LTFRB-7 offers free rides for health care workers
LTFRB-7 regional director Eduardo C. Montealto, Jr. yesterday said that operators and drivers joining this program are entitled to receive P82 per kilometer of which 30 percent for the driver and 70 percent for the operator as a subsidy from the government.

LTFRB-7 offers free rides for health care workers

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - April 18, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 7 is inviting operators of buses and modernized jeepneys to join  its “Free Ride Service Program” intended for the healthcare workers in Cebu.

LTFRB-7 regional director Eduardo C. Montealto, Jr. yesterday said that operators and drivers joining this program are entitled to receive P82 per kilometer of which 30 percent for the driver and 70 percent for the operator as a subsidy from the government.

Montealto said that initially, ten public utility buses were ply the routes of Danao Provincial Hospital - UCMED, Mandaue City; Naga City - Chong Hua Mandaue via SRP SM Seaside, N. Bacalso, Imus, and Talamban Road - Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center starting Friday, April 16.

Montealto said that 56 units of buses and tourists buses and 40 units of modernized jeepneys are their target to be part of this program.

“But pwede nato dungagan og more units depende sa assessment,” Montealto told The Freeman.

He said that so far, the ten units are from the Ceres bus company who agreed in the meantime not to receive any subsidy yet while others are still in the process of complying with the documentary requirements.

It can be recalled that Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has directed the LTFRB to expand the implementation of the said program nationwide regardless of the community quarantine classification.

Tugade said the program aims to help essential workers get to their destination safely and more efficiently by providing much-needed transportation without any cost.

“This is for the people. This is like a socialized transport system. It’s the government that pays, people just get on board. This is help for the people, for our brave essential workers,” said Tugade in a statement.

Montealto added that by next week, a free ride for authorized persons outside residence (APOR) will be included in the program.

The free ride service both for health workers and the APORs are under the PUV service contracting program.

Pursuant to Republic Act No. 11494, or better known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One, the service contracting program aims to ensure reliable and safe public transportation for commuters.

It also said that the LTFRB may also hire additional personnel as necessary to effectively expand these free ride services.

In addition, the service contracting program provides free rides among healthcare frontliners who continue to fight COVID-19.

The service contracting program was implemented to provide additional revenue for drivers and operators affected by the implementation of public health and safety protocols caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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