The ‘Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service (PHABS)- Libreng Sakay’ is an addition to the Office of the Vice President’s array of social services. It was simultaneously launched in key areas in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao on August 3.
Two buses were deployed in Metro Manila in Luzon and a unit each in the cities of Bacolod and Cebu in Visayas, which will also shuttle passengers in Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu cities, and one in Davao City in Mindanao.
The buses, which are fully air-conditioned with clean comfort rooms, free Wi-Fi access and COVID-19 protection supplies such as masks and alcohols, have since been ferrying commuters on scheduled times and routes.
In Metro Manila, pick-up of passengers starts as early as 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays. It follows the usual EDSA bus route.
Mandaue City starts ferrying passengers from Jagobiao at 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Mondays and Tuesdays, while Cebu City commences 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 at 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 (MEPZ) 1.
The OVP bus also starts its point-to-point ride in Bacolod City at 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. except Saturdays. The free bus transport also serves 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 starts at 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 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.
Vice President Sara Duterte, during the inauguration of the Libreng Sakay program, said the buses where lent to her during the campaign but have become idle after the elections. She then thought of using the buses to provide transportation assistance to the riding public to make it “more useful.”
“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 the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange.
PHABS-Libreng Sakay was launched in partnership with the Department of Transportation.