How Filipinos are using #INeedARide to crowdsource, match transpo needs
MANILA, Philippines – Left with limited options for public transportation, frontliners and healthcare workers have been harnessing the power of online crowdsourcing to look for ways to get to their places of work.
The Philippine government placed Luzon under lockdown starting Tuesday, March 17, as a response to the spike of coronavirus cases in the country.
This new measure implemented strict quarantine procedures, suspension of transportation services, and regulation of food and essential health services, among others. Additional travel restrictions were rolled out while local governments across the capital region moved to implement an 8 pm to 5 am curfew in their respective areas.
While the tactic is supported by experts, frontliners struggled with the national government's lack of immediate and timely transport solutions for those who are required to report to work.
It was only on the day after President Rodrigo Duterte implemented the enhanced community quarantine when the Department of Transportation reactively set up free bus rides around Metro Manila for health workers.
However, even with this added provisions, frontliners and healthcare workers said that it does not fully satisfy the demand for transportation. (READ: Groups providing transportation services for frontliners)
Hoping to address this issue, spoken word poet Juan Miguel Severo introduced #INeedARide on Twitter to match people who need a ride to go to their workplace with volunteers who can accommodate these requests.
Dear health workers/anyone whose work isn't suspended today:
If you need a ride, please reply to this thread with #INeedARide and your route.
If you're a private citizen w/ car whose willing to drop them off, check hashtag to see you can accommodate someone.
Let's do this.
Dear health workers/anyone whose work isn't suspended today:
Most of the Twitter users who used the hashtags are healthcare workers who need to get to hospitals for their duty. Without the means for mobility, some of the healthcare workers have been walking to their places of work instead.
Hi friends!!— Kathlyn Valdez (@kathlynvaldez) March 17, 2020
Baka may gusto jan mag share ng ride nila with PGH health care workers habang wala pang shuttles. Kailangan na kailangan namin ng ride para makapasok and makauwi. Huhuh#BayanihanNahttps://t.co/dU26qAMy2mhttps://t.co/GiCTc5KrOM
I'm a healthcare worker here in St. Vincent General Hospital in Concepcion, Marikina City. I'm having trouble in commuting back home to Cubao since the lockdown if there's anyone out there who's willing to help me get home I'd really appreciate it. #ineedaride #LuzonLockdown— eymi (@purplepatatas) March 19, 2020
In an interview with Twitter user JC, a volunteer driver, he mentioned that Juan Miguel’s tweet reached his timeline.
“As of now, despite the high reach, we are only able to pick up and drop off a few people. So far, I've accommodated people whom I've interacted with via direct messages," JC shared.
He added that the initiative is more effective on Facebook since Filipinos have been coordinating through groups that are dedicated for that specific purpose.
Today we gave a healthworker, a nurse, a @SaveSanRoque volunteer and a breadwinner a ride. We learned a lot from them and their daily struggle.— Hustles for Christ (@mikonsepto) March 20, 2020
Thanks @darnitJC for disinfecting us.
And more diesel power to the chauffeur ng bayan @andrei_venal #ineedaride pic.twitter.com/NMDMG4LKa7
Updating this with this carpooling group on Facebook. Health workers and frontliners, join the group if you still need to find a ride to work.https://t.co/b1x621emgA— Juan Miguel Severo (@TheRainBro) March 18, 2020
Aside from working Filipinos, the hashtag is also used by those who need to go to the hospital due to health emergencies. (READ: ‘Walang choice’: Man with leukemia walks to get chemo meds amid Luzon lockdown)
#INeedARide #pickup4COVID19PH— Nikki Anne Soriano (@annesoriano0415) March 18, 2020
Not a healthworker pero
NEED A RIDE PARA SA MEDICAL NEEDS PO NG FATHER KO NA PERITONEAL DIALYSIS PATIENT
Quezon City Area po:
Luzon Avenue (near Commonwealth Avenue) to NKTI (along East Ave) and/or Globo Asiatico (along Maginhawa St.), at pauwi pic.twitter.com/FnvvR4SToN
Netizens said that the #INeedARide was a great way to organize the online efforts to support healthcare workers at the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus in the Philippines.
It is just one of the several online bayanihan efforts Filipinos have led during this time of fear and uncertainty.
While many lauded this citizen-led effort, several netizens lamented the fact that Filipinos are "left to their own devices" to deal with the pandemic.
2.) Asking strangers for free rides. These are the people working and risking their health to help the sick, and this government has left them to their own devices. See the hashtag #INeedARide and one of many examples below https://t.co/68fFXBB6LK— Kat (@tightsarntpants) March 19, 2020
the #INeedARide is such a great movement but it’s sad that we have to go through this lengths because our govt didnt provide alternative options for our working class— mary / SUPPORT PERFORMING ORGS (@marycarpio_) March 17, 2020
Nagpapasalamat ako sa nagpasimula nito #INeedARide #RockEdCarpool sa mga volunteer driver at yung mga may sasakyan na isinaalang alang ang kaligtasan, makatulong lang sa mga nangangailangang kababayan.— (@aethelflaed127) March 18, 2020
Nagpapasalamat din po ako sa lahat ng #FRONTLINERS saludo po ako sa inyo.
#INeedARide is a great advocacy though but it's sad at the same time knowing that our government can't cater this problem as of the moment. A good thing to do is just suspend work, mapa private or public man. I know, it's impossible.— Jarred Yojan Pleños (@JarredYojan) March 17, 2020
INSTEAD, let's boost #INeedARide & #pickupforCOVID19PH to help our frontliners get to our hospitals.— NALA.PXL (@nalapxl) March 17, 2020
kudos to all health workers, utility workers, food service personnel, and others for your courage and persistence in fighting this pandemic. #COVID19PH #COVID19 #ReliefPH