The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to distribute 100,000 face masks to hospitals, its frontline employees, including those involved in port and airport operations, enforcers, drivers, persons involved in the DOTr Free Ride program, and health workers.

This, after a Good Samaritan donated the face masks to DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade on Friday, 20 March 2020.

“To the one who donated these hundred thousand face masks, I, on behalf of the DOTr and the entire country, express our sincerest gratitude. This will greatly help our frontline employees, and of course, our health workers. These people are leaving their homes to fulfill their sworn duty — to serve the country, and to save lives. Thank you for your utmost concern and compassion to our countrymen,” Secretary Arthur Tugade expressed.

According to Transportation Undersecretary for Administrative Service and DOTr representative to the IATF Artemio Tuazon, Jr. the face masks will be distributed as soon as possible to swiftly help those that neeed it the most.

“The face masks that will be used by frontline employees, especially those in port and airport operations, enforcers, drivers, health workers and those involved in the DOTr’s Free Ride program, will be distributed today. Those that will be given to the skeletal workforce of the DOTr Central Office and its attached agencies will be distributed starting on Monday, 23 March 2020,” Usec. Tuazon said.

The DOTr will likewise donate bulk of the face masks to public hospitals on Monday, 23 March 2020. To be provided with face masks are health workers assigned at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa, San Lazaro Hospital, Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila, and the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, among others.

“We’re currently facing a battle against something that we can’t see — and that distress taught us that it is high time for Filipinos to show the world that we still have that indomitable bayanihan spirit,” Secretary Tugade added.

To help health workers with their commuting needs, amid the enforcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the entire Luzon, the DOTr has been deploying buses — in coordination with several government agencies, and private companies since 18 March 2020.

The free ride initiative of the department involves the deployment of 72 buses, and two (2) modern Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), all of which are sent out in compliance with the disease containment protocols set by the Department of Health (DOH) such as the observance of social distancing, checking of body temperature, and regular disinfecting of vehicles.

The shuttle service has 14 routes, which ferry passengers at 5AM, 7AM, 1PM, 3PM, 5PM, and 7PM.