PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade are exploring the possibility of vaccinating the country’s public utility bus drivers, in a bid to deploy buses for fully vaccinated passengers in the National Capital Region (NCR). By doing so, the public transportation system will become part of the protective ‘bubble,’ which is based on Concepcion’s proposal to create micro-herd immunity in small spaces, such as homes and workplaces as part of the overall effort to safely reopen more parts of the battered economy.
“We are looking at deploying buses for fully-vaccinated passengers to protect them from getting infected by the unvaccinated ones. With this, our public transportation can actually bridge the gap between homes and workplaces, which will in turn help us create ‘micro-herd immunity’ through the safety provided by these protective bubbles,” Concepcion said. He shared that this so-called bubble in workplaces is actually a growing trend given the intensified vaccination rollouts in the country. ‘In fact, I’m glad to share that most of the factory workers in my company are already vaccinated, and with this, our company actually creates ‘micro-herd immunity’ in their workplaces,” Concepcion expressed.
Meanwhile, Tugade expressed his gratitude to Concepcion for his efforts to help the country defeat the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. “Thank you Sir Joey for all your assistance for us to defeat the pandemic. Rest assured, we’ll support your initiatives for us to quell the spread of the virus. The entire Department [of Transportation] is willing to assist side-by-side,” he said in Filipino. To hasten the vaccination of drivers across the country, Tugade asked Concepcion for help in accessing 40,000 doses of vaccines for drivers, who are going to be at the forefront of these buses for the fully vaccinated. “We are seeking for your assistance on 40,000 doses of vaccines for us to immediately vaccinate our drivers,” Tugade said. Concepcion said he would do his best to make this possible.
Meanwhile, Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Nangangasiwa ng Panlalawigang Bus sa Pilipinas, Inc. (NSNPBPI) President Vincent Rondaris expressed his gratitude for allowing the transport group to discuss their concerns with the national government. “We thank you for having a meeting with us since this is an avenue for us to ask for more vaccines for our group,” he said, “We also would like to have additional vaccines so we can finally increase our vehicles’ operational capacity.” Meanwhile, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Steven Pastor shared the recent assistance from the private sector through the ‘Tsuperhero: Vaccination Drive,” which was launched three weeks ago.
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