The world is in the deadly grip of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CoViD-19) pandemic. Governments are enforcing measures to stop the spread of the disease, including community lockdowns and total stoppages of non-essential industries and businesses. Amidst this drastically changing socioeconomic landscape brought on by among the smallest things on earth, we are still finding proof that humanity is headed to a better future. Here are some examples:
Toll fees waived for medical frontliners
San Miguel Corp is waiving toll on all its expressways in the Philippines for medical front liners working tirelessly to save lives in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
Through its SMC Infrastructure, the company said the following toll roads will be free of toll for all health care professionals for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine covering the entire main island of Luzon: STAR Tollway, South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Skyway, NAIAX, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).
To avail of the toll-free privilege, medical personnel need to secure a special RFID sticker from SMC Tollways, or have their existing RFID sticker converted. These may be availed at temporary booths the company has set up, initially, at the Shell Magallanes gas station and the NAIAx toll gate, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Medical practitioners only need to present their PRC license card. An SMC tollway personnel will install the toll-free RFID stickers on their vehicles or convert their existing stickers to toll-free stickers. The company said it will make the toll-free RFID stickers available at other major locations soon.
“We hope that with this program, our medical frontliners would have one less thing to worry about,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said.
Earlier, SMC also announced that it opened priority lanes at the SLEX to help ensure the unimpeded flow of essential goods such as medical supplies and equipment as well as food and raw materials. For faster processing of vehicles, companies are advised to prepare the government-required cargo documents and for delivery personnel to follow checkpoint procedures.
PNP’s inspection teams are located before the Susana Heights exit (southbound) and along the Alabang-Filinvest Interchange before SLEX Alabang northbound exit. These inspection teams, like in other areas in the country, were established to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The company is also undertaking a massive, nationwide effort to provide free rubbing alcohol to medical practitioners in hospitals as well as other vital agencies and institutions.
The company is also distributing food donations to vulnerable communities affected by the quarantine, as well as hospitals all over Metro Manila.
Isuzu lends LCVs for healthcare workers’ transport
Isuzu Philippines Corp (IPC) lent on March 28 two units of the Isuzu D-MAX and one Isuzu mu-X to authorized representatives of the Binan local government.
Following the strict government protocols on social distancing and disinfection, the three Isuzu light commercial vehicles (LCVs) were completely sanitized and sterilized, and were delivered to the Municipality of Biñan, Laguna.
These vehicles will be used to support the frontliners in Biñan and Sta. Rosa Laguna, to transport them going to and from the several hospitals to help them fulfill their critical duties in this public health crisis.
IPC also lent one mu-X and one NLR PUV to Medical City in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, to be used as the hospital’s frontliners’ service. IPC still continues to reach out to other hospitals to address their mobility problems.
IPC also assures that its aftersales service program, the Isuzu Mobile Medics, will still be offered for Isuzu vehicles used in essential operations for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine. With the Isuzu Mobile Medics service, owners, operators, and drivers of Isuzu vehicles can avail of expert and experienced technicians and troubleshooters wherever and whenever they are needed.
“The Isuzu Mobile Medic, as an onsite emergency servicing, will be essential for Isuzu vehicles to continue operating uninterrupted in the government, armed forces, utility companies, logistics, and healthcare sectors,” IPC President Hajime Koso explained.
To add to Isuzu owners’ peace of mind, IPC’s nationwide network of 45 dealers has also offered a 30-day grace period on all Isuzu vehicles with scheduled PMS (periodic maintenance service) during the enhanced community quarantine, while all Isuzu vehicles whose warranty coverages will be lapsing within the quarantine period will also be given a 30-day warranty extension.
To avail of the Isuzu Mobile Medics emergency service, and for more details of the extended PMS and warranties, and other concerns, customers can e-mail email@example.com, or log on to www.isuzuphil.com.
Volkswagen lends out Crafter vans
On March 18, Volkswagen Philippines provided three Volkswagen Crafter vans and drivers to Ac Health’s FamilyDOC for the duration of the quarantine.
The vehicles are now being used to transport healthcare workers to and from different FamilyDOC clinics. Doctors and nurses are fetched from pre-determined locations and shuttled to the clinics. The vans also deliver essential supplies and personal protective equipment to the medical facilities.
Ford, Lifeline 16-911 partner for transport services
Ford Philippines has deployed its Ford Transit vans to help transport medical and healthcare frontliners.
PK Umashankar, managing director of Ford Philippines, said, “With the Ford Transit, we are able to assist in their mobility needs so they can provide the much-needed medical care as soon as possible.”
Ford partnered with Lifeline 16-911 for a lendout of the Ford Transit for the entire duration of the quarantine period to transport medical frontliners to Lifeline’s various points of dispatch (LifePods). Points of dispatch are standalone ambulance stations spread across Metro Manila that house the ambulance, equipment, and crew. Lifeline 16-911 is the largest private ambulance and pre-hospital provider in Metro Manila that offers 24/7 emergency quick response ambulances, doctors on call, and patient transfer services.
Ford has also lent another Ford Transit van to Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa City for the duration of the quarantine period to shuttle medical workers from various pick-up points in the city to the hospital and then back to designed drop-off points. The lendout will allow the medical frontliners to get to Asian Hospital faster and more conveniently to facilitate medical service delivery.
Ford is also looking to lend its Ford Ranger pickup trucks to partner-organizations to help transport food, supplies, equipment, and other essential goods.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company in the United States, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, announced it would begin producing in Michigan a third-party ventilator with the goal to produce 50,000 of the vitally needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed.
Ford will provide its manufacturing capabilities to quickly scale production, and GE Healthcare will provide its clinical expertise and will license the current ventilator design from Airon Corp—a small, privately held company specializing in high-tech pneumatic life support products. GE Healthcare brought the Airon Corp design to Ford’s attention as part of the companies’ efforts to scale production of ventilators quickly to help clinicians treat CoViD-19 patients.
The GE/Airon Model A-E ventilator uses a design that operates on air pressure without the need for electricity, addressing the needs of most CoViD-19 patients. Its production can be quickly scaled to help meet growing demand in the States.
Ford will initially send a team to work with Airon to boost production in Florida, and by the week of April 20, will start production at Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, quickly ramping up to reach full production to help meet surging demand.
Ford expects to produce 1,500 by the end of April, 12,000 by the end of May and 50,000 by July 4, helping the US government meet its goal of producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.
PMS, warranty, insurance and payment extensions
A number of car companies in the Philippines have also announced extensions of periodic maintenance services, offered grace periods on expiring warranty coverages falling within the duration of the enhanced community quarantine, or have suspended payments due on car owners’ monthly amortizations.
Suzuki Philippines, in an announcement, said, “For motorcycle, automobile, and marine products whose warranty will expire during the enhanced community quarantine period, a special warranty extension of three months will be granted following the Suzuki standard warranty policy.
“For units due for preventive maintenance service during the ECQ period will also be granted with a special servicing extension of three months.”
Nissan Philippines, for its part, announced, “Nissan Finance recognizes that this is the time to look after each other. Therefore, in partnership with EastWest Bank, payment deadlines are extended for 30 days for eligible Nissan Finance customers whose due dates fall within the period covered by the enhanced community quarantine.”
Kia Philippines has announced that “all Kia vehicles with scheduled Preventive Maintenance Service and warranty coverage expiring within the duration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine will be given a 15-day grace period and a 30-day extension, respectively.”
Toyota Motor Philippines, through its Facebook page, has announced the following:
“For all Toyota Insure policy holders nationwide, policy covers expiring within the period March 16 to April 14, 2020 shall be extended up to 30 days from expiry date.”
Toyota Financial Services Philippines has also extended its assistance to customers by “improving the payment extension guidelines”. For details, customers can log on to www.toyotafinancial.ph. For inquiries, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.