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Delta: Free rides to workers help revive economy

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO Gov. Dennis Delta” Pineda has mobilized 549 public utility jeepneys and 20 large buses to provide free rides to workers who are allowed to work in government agencies and private companies within Pampanga province.

Called Libreng Sakay 2 Para Sa Mga Manggagawa,” the program was launched by the governor May 20 as part of efforts to slowly revive the local economy shortly after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases placed Pampanga, Angeles City and other areas in Central Luzon under modified enhanced community quarantine against the coronavirus disease starting May 16 up to May 31.

In Libreng Sakay 1, Pineda and 22 mayors fielded the service vehicles of 505 barangays to ferry workers.

In Libreng Sakay 2, SET A consists of 320 drivers on Monday-Wednesday and SET B, 229 drivers on Thursday-Saturday. Free rides start from 5 a.m. to 9a.m. and resume at 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Hindi lang po mga business establishments ang nakikinabang. Kumikita rin po ang Kapampangang tsuper dito sa Libreng Sakay 2 kasi Capitol ang nagbabayad sa bawat biyahe nila,” the governor said.

Provincial administrator Atty. Charlie Chua thanked Ahmed Cuison, Central Luzon director of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for issuing special permits at the request of Capitol.

Workers availing themselves of free rides are required to wear face mask and show their company ID or employment certificates, according to Angie Blanco, executive officer of the Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

For physical distancing, she said, a jeepney is required to carry only eight passengers while a bus can sit only 23 persons.

Col. Jean Fajardo, provincial police director, has deployed cops to enforce safety protocols in transport terminals. The vehicles have designated pick-up and drop-off points.

While work and transport services have been resumed on a limited scale, Governor Pineda has advised residents to stay home to protect themselves from Covid-19.

He said he is waiting for the results of RT-PCR tests that are being done among 800 households in the province. He said it will help identify the areas where clusters of Covid-19 are actually happening. The results will also serve as basis for interventions by the provincial government. 

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