Cebu Normal University (CNU) has given transportation assistance to the employees of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) as part of the Innovative CNU Assistance and Relief Effort (iCARE) program of the University during this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

CNU named its transportation assistance iCARE Ride. CNU’s iCARE program originally had three services, namely iCARE Student Communication Center (SCC); iCARE Telecounseling Services; and iCARE Donation Center. Two more initiatives were later conceptualized and added to the iCARE program which are iCARE Ride and iCARE Pedagogical Connect. 

Read related article: [iCARE: CNU’s means of saying it cares

Cebu Normal University (CNU) bus / Photo by Levy Tipon

iCARE Ride started to operate last April 3, 2020. Drivers from the University’s General Services Office (GSO) were deployed to operate the University vehicles with the assistance of maintenance personnel to ensure safety measures for the drivers and passengers. The bus operates during weekdays, from Mondays to Fridays at 3:00 to 5:00PM. 

Dr. Joseph Sol Galleon, Presidential Assistant for Disaster Risk Reduction, said that the iCARE Ride follows the “No mask, no ride” policy for the safety of its passengers. He said that social distancing is strictly observed and that only 15 persons at a time are allowed to ride the bus.

Levy Tipon, one of the drivers of iCARE Ride, said that they also operate the bus in duos so that the other personnel can check the passengers’ temperature through a thermal scanner and spray disinfectant on their hands as part of the safety precautionary measures. 

“Ako gipanumpaan before ko nisulod sa gobyerno nga moserbisyo gyud ta bisan og unsa pay sitwasyon ug para man sad ni sa atong kaayuhan ug tabang nalang sad ni nako sa atong mga kaigsuonan labi na ang atong mga frontliner (It is my pledge even before I started working in the government to serve whatever the situation may be for the good of all. It is also my way of helping our brethren especially our frontliners),” Tipon said.   

He said that all drivers from the GSO have a chance to operate the bus with their given schedules.   

CNU has also provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)’s to the health workers of VSMMC and other external partners of the University through the donations accumulated by the iCARE Donation Center that includes liquid soaps, head caps, hazmat suits, face mask and shields, gloves, and others.

Professors from the Physics department have also produced a number of the face shields being donated utilizing the 3D printers in the University’s Physics laboratory.

VSMMC is the only accredited COVID-19 testing center in Cebu and is one of the two accredited testing centers in the Visayas. (JDF)