Tugade leads launch of vaccination program for transport workers

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur “Art” Tugade has ordered the strict implementation of health and safety measures in public transport facilities. He led the pilot Covid-19 vaccination of transport workers at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) in Parañaque City on Saturday.

It is important for us to make sure our heroic transport workers are vaccinated, especially since they go to different places and deal different people every day),” Tugade explained.

The vaccination drive

Dubbed as “TsuperHero: Kasangga ng Resbakuna” the vaccination drive inoculates public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, conductors, and other transport workers through a partnership among the DOTr Road Transport Sector, the Department of Health (DOH), the Mega Manila Consortium Corporation (MMCC), the Parañaque City government, and the PITX.

The MMCC converted five buses of which three units are being utilized to inoculate at least 1,000 transport workers every Saturday to reach its minimum target of 6,000 vaccinees.

The Parañaque City government provided the first batch of vaccines while the remaining vaccines needed for the drive will be sourced from the national government, under the nationwide vaccination program, through the help of the DOH’s Metro Manila Center for Health Development.

The Parañaque City Health Office also provided the needed medical personnel who will serve at the screening, vaccination and post-vaccination stations.

Along with the vaccination of transport workers, Tugade also announced that PITX, represented by Megawide Chairman Edgar Saavedra, heeded his call to waive terminal fees for buses and jeepneys at the PITX starting Aug. 2 to cushion the impact of the pandemic on the public transport sector until travel restrictions are eased.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez noted that the initiative will surely hasten the city’s goal of achieving herd immunity as 250,000 residents have already been vaccinated.

“This help from the DOTr and the IATF is a big step for us to  achieve our herd immunity goal. Any form of help is welcome and hugely appreciated as the struggle felt by Filipinos due to the pandemic needs to be stopped immediately,” Olivarez said.

After Metro Manila, the vaccination program for transport workers will also carried out in nearby cities, and in other regions to cover remote areas.