Metropolitan Manila Development (MMDA) chairman Danilo Lim yesterday said hospitals and private ambulance service providers may coordinate with the agency in advance or approach traffic enforcers on the road for assistance during emergencies.
The move was in response to the order of President Rodrigo Duterte for the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) and MMDA enforcers to escort ambulances in Metro Manila to ensure that patients needing urgent care reach hospitals on time.
Lim said the MMDA is ready to provide escort to emergency vehicles, particularly ambulances that have to squeeze through traffic.
When the need arises, motorcycle-riding traffic enforcers can be tapped to escort emergency vehicles all over Metro Manila, so that emergency patients needing urgent care can reach hospitals at the soonest possible time.
On-ground traffic enforcers can also assist ambulances through traffic on roads congested with vehicles or when motorists refuse to give way.
Emergency vehicles whose passengers require urgent medical attention must be given priority and must be spared from being stuck in traffic.
The President made the comment in response to a report revealing a number of incidents where patients aboard ambulances die on their way to hospitals, because roads, including emergency lanes, are congested with vehicles.
Likewise, the report cited some drivers who refuse to give way to ambulances carrying patients.
Mr. Duterte earlier said he would ask the MMDA and the PNP-HPG that if there is an emergency, a siren police escort should pull the emergency vehicle, which is mandatory for them.