OVP, DoTr launch ‘Libreng Sakay’

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) Sara Z. Duterte and the Department of Transportation (DoTr), on Wednesday launched the “Libreng Sakay” program to help commuters in key areas nationwide during rush hours.

Duterte, who initiated the implementation of the free transport ride, said she was hopeful the project will help Filipinos save fare expenses.

“We hope that through this program, we will be able to provide relief to some of our fellow Filipinos who rely on public transport for their daily commute to work, to school, and to many other places,” Duterte said during the official launch ceremony of the OVP Libreng Sakay program at Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange.

The program launch simultaneously kicked off in Metro Manila in Luzon, in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Bacolod in the Visayas and Davao City in Mindanao.

The OVP said two buses will be functional in Metro Manila, one in Davao City, one in Cebu, and another one in Bacolod.

The WiFi-ready buses were initially lent for OVP use, but Duterte said these “would be more useful” if they were deployed in some key areas of the country to be used by the commuting public for free.

“It will support the national government’s Libreng Sakay Program, and at the same time, it is hoped that this meager contribution will translate to daily savings for our public transport-riding kababayan,” she added.

Duterte is confident that this is just the beginning of many more successful collaborations with the private sector “to provide much-needed relief to the public.”

“Let me emphasize that this program is a demonstration of effective government and private sector collaboration,” she said.

In Metro Manila, the pick-up of passengers will start as early as 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays and will follow the usual EDSA bus way.

Mandaue City will start ferrying passengers from Jagobiao at 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, while Cebu City will commence at 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. en route from SM Seaside to IT Park.

Lapu-Lapu City shuttles from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, starting at the Mactan Economic Processing Zone 1.

The OVP bus will also start its point-to-point ride in Bacolod City from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. except on Saturdays. The free bus transport will also serve other selected barangays in the city on scheduled days.

The areas of Lasang, Toril and Calinan are the designated pick-up stations in Davao City. The operation will start from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday for Lasang area passengers, Wednesdays and Thursdays for Toril residents, and Fridays and Saturdays for Calinan-bound commuters.

The OVP said the free shuttle transport will strictly impose the “No Mask, No Ride” policy to ensure the safety of passengers from Covid-19.

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