Department of Tourism and Makati Medical Center Foundation partnership brings ER bikes to three Metro Manila tourist sites

Officials of the Department of Tourism (DOT) led by Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat (fifth from left) together with Makati Medical Center (MMC) Foundation Executive Director Marge M. Barro (fourth from right) and PLDT-Smart Foundation President Esther O. Santos (third from right) on 31 May 2022 led the turnover of the MMC’s Hospital-in-a-Bike project to three tourism sites in Metro Manila, namely Intramuros, Luneta Park, and Paco Park. I DOT Photo

Fort Santiago, Manila—The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Makati Medical Center (MMC) Foundation on 31 May 2022 (Tuesday) launched the Hospital-in-a-Bike project, which seeks to boost tourist safety in three tourism sites in Metro Manila.

The Emergency Response (ER) bikes will be deployed in the areas of Intramuros, Luneta Park, and Paco Park—which was recently designated as a National Cultural Treasure on its 200th year anniversary. In celebration of MMC Hospital’s 53rd anniversary, these ER Bikes were also donated by The MMC Wellness Center and the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines.

Two of the sites namely Luneta Park and Paco Park are being managed by the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), while Intramuros is being overseen by the Intramuros Administration (IA). Both NPDC and IA are attached agencies of the DOT.

DOT Photo

The bikes, which are designed for cycle responders, were developed using custom-built mountain bikes fitted with appropriate lights and sirens. The bikes are lightweight and include a strengthened back wheel and stronger spokes, water bottles and pannier bags which contain assorted medical supplies and equipment for first responders.

Spearheaded by the MMC Foundation, the Hospital-in-a-Bike Project aims to distribute a total of 100 ER bikes among public sector partners around the Philippines, and will be pre-positioned in chosen strategic pilot areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat shared her satisfaction with the latest development, citing its positive impact in promoting safe tourism in the three sites.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat inspects the contents of one of the three first aid bikes turned over to the Department of Tourism (DOT) by the Makati Medical Center (MMC) Foundation and PLDT-Smart Foundation on May 31, 2022. I DOT Photo

In her speech at the turnover ceremony held at the Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Puyat thanked the MMC and PLDT-Smart for their relentless support to the DOT’s initiatives, particularly in medical and wellness tourism.

“I hope the partnership of the DOT with PLDT-Smart and Makati Med will continue. They have installed free internet in Intramuros, upgraded the Ciriaco Tirol Hospital in Boracay, helped in vaccinating tourism workers in Siargao, and provided health security during the Philippines’ hosting of the WTTC Summit, where our delegates experienced world-class healthcare and hospitality. Together, we showed that when the government and private sector work together, great things can happen,” Puyat quipped during the turnover ceremony.

In her speech on Tuesday (31 May 2022), Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat (right) thanked the Makati Medical Center (MMC) Foundation and PLDT-Smart Foundation for their relentless support to the DOT’s initiatives, particularly in promoting medical and wellness tourism in the country. I DOT Photo

Present during the turnover were officials of MMC and PLDT-Smart led by Marge M. Barro, Executive Director of MMC Foundation, and Esther O. Santos, President of PLDT-Smart Foundation.

Key officials of the DOT, including Intramuros Administrator Atty. Guiller B. Asido, Medical and Wellness Tourism Director Dr. Paulo Benito S. Tugbang, NPDC Deputy Executive Director Jezreel Gaius A. Apelar, among others, also joined the tourism chief in the activity.

Early in 2020, Puyat has partnered with PLDT-Smart in providing emergency satellite (SAT) phones to regional tourism offices. Likewise, the existing partnership of the DOT and MMC Foundation ensured the necessary upgrade of the Ciriaco S. Tirol Hospital in Boracay Island.

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