Duterte eyes escort for ambulances

MANILA To ensure that patients requiring emergency care reach hospitals on time, President Rodrigo Duterte is considering having ambulances escorted by transport authorities and police to breeze through traffic in Metro Manila.

Maybe, maybe I will ask all itong -lahat na -Metro Manila, Highway Patrol (Group). 'Pag may emergency, huwag lang 'yang emergency na nagmamadali ito (When there's an emergency, not just an emergency that involves a person being in a hurry to get to work), Duterte said in a media interview after the oath-taking rites of MalacaAang Press Corps on Tuesday night.

Duterte made this remark in response to a report from the Agence France-Presse, which bared that the worsening traffic in Metro Manila is causing patients to die en route.

He said he would also want authorities from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) to pull ambulances through traffic.

Hilain nila. Itabi nila para makalusot (They could pull. They could set them aside so that they could pass through). And maybe that would be a mandatory work for them, Duterte said.

Course ko kay Danny Lim and itong hagad sa pulis. Must -must hila. Duty-bound to hila (I will course it through MMDA Chairman Danny Lim and thse police. They must pull. They will be duty bound to pull), he added.

He, however, warned that those who abuse the use of escorts for cases that are not considered as medical emergencies will be arrested.

Itong minsan 'yung iba nagsasakay ng ano, maski walang emergency nagsa-siren. Ah 'pag ganun, huli talaga (Sometimes, some get a ride even if there's no emergency and use sirens. In cases like that, they'll be caught), Duterte said.

Before suggesting authorities to escort ambulances to hospitals, Duterte joked about having to answer to the traffic problem in Metro Manila.

'Yan ang walang sagot, ma'am. Kung may helicopter siguro, angklahan mo tapos(That's something we have no answer to. Perhaps if there's a helicopter), Duterte said.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo suggested the use of choppers to transport emergency patients to hospitals.

Despite worsening traffic, Duterte said he would not beg for Congress to grant him emergency powers.

The House of Representatives has passed the emergency powers for the President bill in the committee level while Senate has been uncertain about passing a measure due to fears of corruption.

Ako, hindi ako naghingi. Sabi ko lang bahala sila kung mga Tuga -si Tugade was one (Me, I won't ask. I said it's up to them. Transport Secretary Tugade was the one), Duterte said.

Duterte recalled how a lady senator he did not name raised the possibility that emergency powers may be abused and decided that since Congress doubted his administration, he would no longer ask for it.

Kaya sabi ko -nakikinig ako. Sabi ko, 'Sabihin mo sa kanila huwag na lang' (That's why I said--I'm listening. I said, Tell them, never mind'), he added.

He also admitted that he could not clear EDSA before he steps down in 2022. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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