Around 1,000 health workers from Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City and nearby hospitals benefit from the ongoing free daily Malasakit bus service.
The Malasakit Bus ni Tatay at Kuya is initiated by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) and supported by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Bong Go to provide transportation for the frontliners during this period of enhanced community quarantine.
OPAV first launched the free transportation service in March during the first enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) after Sec. Michael Lloyd Dino, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, observed that frontliners have difficulty in reporting for duty at the hospitals and going home after work in the absence of public transportation.
OPAV again deployed 10 buses on June 17, 2020, five days after the bus service stopped when Cebu was placed anew under general community quarantine.
The bus service starts at 5:00 a.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m.
These buses serve four routes: from Fuente Osmena to SM Consolacion in the North; South up to Minglanilla Plaza; West up to Barangay Marigondon in Lapu-Lapu City; and East up to Talamban Gym in Barangay Talamban, Cebu City.
Each Malasakit bus operates six trips a day, three trips early in the morning and another three in the afternoon/night.
This meant that there are 60 Malasakit bus trips every day.
During the first ECQ period, OPAV deployed 12 Malasakit buses to serve the four routes since no public transportation was allowed to operate.
OPAV launched the Malasakit Bus ni Tatay at Kuya on March 19, 2020, in partnership with the Vallacar Transit Inc.
The Cristina Lee Dino Foundation shoulders the gasoline expenses and the salary of the drivers of the Malasakit buses. (PR)