Isko: Use toll booths as drive-thru vax hubs

January 17, 2022 Marlon Purification 226 views

AS a move to hasten the campaign to protect as many people as possible in the fastest way possible, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Monday urged the national government and the private sector to consider using dedicated-toll booths in all expressways leading to Metro Manila as drive-thru booster shot facilities.

“Meron lang akong panawagan, idea lang, magsi-share lang ako ng idea, baka makita lang ng ibang government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) na pwede nilang gawin, lahat ng toll gate pwedeng drive-thru yung isang lane. Just imagine all the exits,” Moreno said during the launching of the drive-thru booster shot facility for tricycle and pedicab drivers at the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila.

The 47-year-old presidential aspirant said he came up with the idea upon seeing the thousands of non-Manilans coming from the different provinces of Luzon lining up for booster shots at the different vaccination facilities in the City of Manila, especially at the Luneta drive-thru booster shot facility for 4-wheel vehicles.

“Kaya ko naisip yun kasi naaawa ako sa mga taga-Northern Luzon, Central Luzon at Southern Luzon na pumupunta sa Manila. The data will not lie, may pumupunta nga sa amin, taga-Mariveles, Bataan. Dulo na ng Bataan yun, about 3-4 hours drive to Manila, plus the number of hours lining up for shots at the Luneta driver-thru booster facility. Ibig sabihin, merong demand ang tao, gusto ng tao na magpa-booster,” Moreno said.

Moreno suggested that the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) can ask business tycoons Manny Pangilinan and Ramon Ang to dedicate certain toll booths at all entrance or exit toll gates at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Manila–Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx), Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway), Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), and Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEx), among others, for booster shots for motorists using the expressways.

Besides being more accessible to more people, Moreno said these corporations have the financial capacity to hire temporary vaccinators.

“I am just saying that if we really wanted to, kung pare-pareho tayo ng antenna, kung gusto nating proteksyonan ang tao, it’s just a mere suggestion. Wala naman kasi akong otoridad over the toll (operators). But given the chance, I’ll do that, why not,” said Moreno.

Having said that, Moreno assured that the city government of Manila will not stop in its aggressive campaign to protect as many people as possible in as many ways possible to prevent possible deaths amid the surging Omicron-driven Covid-19 infection.

Besides continuing vaccinations in community health centers, designated schools, and malls across the city, Moreno has opened special drive-thru booster shot facilities for 4-wheel vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and now tricycle and pedicab drivers.

Moreno is also set to open Manila Zoo as a vaccination facility for minors and children.

“Ang hamon ngayon nasa buhay ng ating mga kababayan is kung papaano papanatag ang damdamin niya na mabura yung pangamba niya na siya ay may access sa free testing, swab testing, may access siya sa vaccine, may access siya sa gamot, may access siya sa pasilidad, may access siya sa duktor, which is available in the City of Manila,” he said.

“Let’s just focus on these two things. Itawid natin ang tao. kaya naman ng gobyernong maitawid. Kaya nating makapamuhay ng may Covid-19, pero makapag-hanapbuhay ng ligtas, at walang pangamba at mabawasan yung panganib sa bawat isa. Tao muna. It’s always about tao muna. Basta’t sa Maynila, in our own little way, hangga’t kaya ng katawan namin, hindi tayo titigil,” said Moreno.