Angkas is back in the news. First with its IATF-approved shield design. Now, with free rides and shields for health care workers (HCWs).
When Metro Manila and nearby communities were again placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine restrictions, public transport was again suspended, leaving many HCWs, and those working in essential services, with few options to get from home to work and vice versa.
Although so-called ‘libreng sakay’ for frontline workers initiatives continued or were resumed, and privately-owned vehicles, including motorcycles and pedal-powered bikes, were allowed, many HCWs still face difficulties going to work.
In stepped Angkas. The pioneer motorcycle ride-hailing app offered— and this was apparently accepted by the Department of Interior and Local Government and the National Task Force against CoViD-19 — to have 1,000 of its partner-riders provide transport for HCWs from 10 identified hospitals for the duration of the MECQ period.
Angkas also donated 1,000 of its IATF-approved protective shields for use of HCWs who have motorcycles and use them to go to work. The IATF had earlier allowed tandem riding for all essential workers during the MECQ as long as they use the protective shields and comply with other safety protocols such as wearing of helmets and facemasks.
The donation and the free rides may not all be about altruism. But one cannot fault Angkas for wanting to resume motorcycle operations for its partner-riders. One also cannot fault how it is going about this – consulting experts on how to make tandem riding and motorcycle taxi operations as safe as possible in the CoViD-19 pandemic.