Several volunteers and non-government organization (NGO) leaders have teamed up to create a group that helps facilitate mobility for front liners and essential medical materials across Metro Manila during the lockdown period.
Oplan Hatid Laban sa Covid (OHLC) is training and deploying volunteer drivers to safely transport frontline workers and personal protective equipment (PPE) to and from healthcare centers across the capital. The group’s goal is to ensure that most healthcare workers can perform their duties despite the ongoing community quarantine.
“Each and every person who has agreed to take part in this movement is doing it out of the goodness of their heart and the desire to make a difference in a trying time,” said OHLC co-founder Norie Garcia. “The response has been overwhelming from the volunteers and from the people we’ve been able to help through all this, and even from the community at large. It’s a true testament to how we can transform society if we come together to use what we have for the greater good.”
OHLC currently has more than a hundred volunteers—despite the prevailing feelings of fear and anxiety during the pandemic. Since its inception, OHLC and its volunteer drivers have been offering transport assistance for key health institutions including the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Mentro North Hospital, the Philippine Heart Center, St. Luke’s Hospital BGC, Chinese General Hospital, Rizal Medical Center, Diliman Doctor’s Hospital, and Commonwealth Hospital and Medical Center.
“We are thrilled to see so much support for this endeavor,” said Gianna Montinola, a co-founder of Hands On Manila, one of the organizers of OHLC. “We will work relentlessly like this is a marathon more than a sprint. We need to keep mobilizing what resources we have available. It is our responsibility to make a positive difference in our own future.”
Do you want to try being a part of OHLC? Volunteers must begin the process by filling out an online form available at OHLC’s website or by securing an endorsement from one of the organizing NGOs of the group. Be ready to undergo a virtual orientation to learn necessary information for properly transporting individuals and items. OHLC will then provide essential documents and other materials to prepare a volunteer for deployment. Once a volunteer is ready, he/she will start transporting front liners and healthcare materials between healthcare institutions.