On the transportation of workers and employees

Reports reached our office on the plight of workers and employees stranded from work, as well as those health workers and those in the exempted group of the ban who could not go to their places of work on Day One of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon.

We immediately communicated such concern to the Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the latter swiftly directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to bring out their army trucks to ferry those who are stranded, particularly health workers and other individuals exempted from the ban, so they can be safely brought to their places of work and their homes after work.

We also brought the same problem to the attention of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and its Chairman Danilo Lim who gave an immediate positive response. Chairman Lim has already coordinated with different bus companies, especially Wescapboa, a transport cooperative, and the West Cavite Philippine Bus Operators Association, as well as the Jasper Jean Bus Liner. They have started to send out their buses after marking the same with the official logo of the MMDA to put law enforcement agents on notice of their purpose of free public service in favor of those exempted from home quarantine.

We commend these bus companies for their bayanihan spirit. The same commendation goes to AVIS Philippines for its offer to transport outbound passengers who intend to depart the country in going to the airport and inbound passengers to their respective homes before the expiration of the 72-hour grace period from the effectivity of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. It is now in coordination with the MMDA and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to consider its offer of help.

Everyone is called upon to rise to the challenges of this dangerous and extremely difficult phase of our history as a nation.

The President himself is setting the example. He went out early this morning to monitor the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon.

The Palace will continue to asses the evolving health crisis to give the appropriate response to any problematic situation during this period even as we assure everyone that the consequent inconvenience arising from this government undertaking is minuscule and temporary as against the end result of securing our safety and survival from the dreaded COVID-19.

We reiterate our appeal to our countrymen that self-discipline and self-help plus selfless community cooperation are the keys to the success of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in these trying and perilous times.

Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson

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