By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to use the P5.58 billion Service Contracting Program fund from the Bayanihan 2 Law to augment free transportation to senior citizens, PWDs and other indigent citizen to ferry them to vaccination sites.
In a statement, Poe said that free rides to vaccination center could give jobs to displace drivers and others in the transport sector.
“There is a critical need to augment the free transportation made available by the government and private sector to cover more senior citizens, persons with disabilities and indigent residents in going to the vaccination sites,” she said.
Poe said that from the transportation department’s P5.58-billion Service Contracting Program under the Bayanihan 2 law could be tapped for this purpose.
“The program will not only provide free rides to the needy sectors, but jobs to drivers displaced by the pandemic,” she said.
The lady senator said that transportation is an important piece that must not be overlooked as the government implements the national vaccination program. “It should not be a barrier to health care.”
“Free rides will encourage more of our people to get the shot and expand vaccine access to communities,” Poe said.
She added that the big task at hand is promoting confidence among our people in the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines to increase uptake, as well as in the government’s capacity to manage the logistical challenge that goes with efforts to give the people the shots against the virus.
“Trust should be the main component of our vaccination program,” she said.
“Government must show it will remain with the people’s side to see them through the entire vaccination process,” Poe added. (AI/MTVN)