Habal-habal Drivers Donate to LTO-7 Bloodletting Campaign

Motor taxi drivers (habal-habal) giving their blood. | Photo courtesy of LTO-7

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Motorcycle taxi (habal-habal) drivers in Metro Cebu gave back to the community by donating blood on World Blood Donor Day, June 14, 2022, at the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas ( LTO-7).

LTO-7 has partnered with the Central Visayas Department of Health (DOH-7) for a blood donation campaign at its Cebu City office along N. Bacalso Avenue.

The drivers of the Angkas mobile application took the opportunity to donate blood as part of their social responsibility. Angkas has been granted permission to pilot its operations in the Cebu metro area.

LTO 7 Regional Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec said the activity is part of their social responsibility in which blood donation is linked and important since their agency handles licensing, permit and registration issuances, main requirements to ensure that the driver knows and complies with the rules of the road.

“Our role is to promote road safety and part of promoting road safety is to help people realize the consequences when the roads are unsafe,” said RD Caindec.

The Director added that while blood donation has been very important during the pandemic where many Covid-19 patients have opted for convalescent plasma transfusion from recovered Covid patients, the current spike in dengue fever cases has now made it more important to donate to save lives.

“As riders/bikers, many of us have seen friends, we have lost friends in fatal accidents not only with motorcycles but even with motor vehicles,” the director gave the example of the how a pilot can help a low blood pilot during an accident.

DOH 7’s Dr. Faith Ronolo, who led the agency’s team, said one person who donates blood can save up to three lives.

Indeed, the donated blood will be processed and divided into components, platelets, plasma and red blood cells.

Platelets are crucial these days with the rise of dengue fever in Cebu as platelet transfusion can save the life of a severe dengue patient.

She also disclosed that blood donations in the region have been transported to public and private facilities to expand the need for blood.

Angkas Special Assistant to the CEO for VISMIN Operations, Mr. Gilbert Olan, said that their company is more than just a transport business.

“Ang Angkas has always been very active with nga mga community projects and developments. We are not only a transport company, we are also very active in terms of helping the community,” said Olan.

He added that they will undertake another blood donation campaign which will cover more or less 4,500 of their runners. /rcg

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