The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major setback to many Filipinos. And as the country eases on its quarantine restrictions, most employees and businesses can now finally resume work operations. However, because public transportation is still limited, many of these individuals would either choose to walk for miles or wait hours for transport.
Seeing this struggle, Eric Granado, who is running a car rental service, decided to step up and assist commuters. From his home in Caloocan, Eric would stop by passengers waiting for a ride along Commonwealth Avenue and offer them rides—as long as their destination is along his route. To reach more individuals in need, Eric even set up a Facebook page, RG Community where people could easily contact him. (Read: Here’s How You Can Help Jeepney Drivers Affected by the Lockdown)
What made this road hero decide to offer free rides to commuters? My Pope Philippines talks with Eric!
Why did you decide to offer free rides despite the threat of the pandemic?
Actually, the RG Community “Libreng Sakay” was created way back a year ago before the pandemic. However, it was during this pandemic that the demand went up for free rides. Because of that, Unang Hirit took notice of our story. (Read: This Grab driver offers free rides to commuters)
At first, I thought I could no longer be able to continue this. That was until a company from Makati, who I was doing business with for the past two years, called me to render service to them for carpooling. This opportunity made me continue my “libreng sakay” stint and help our frontliners who need it for their mobility.
What safety precautions do you implement?
commFor security, health, and safety, I always make sure to sanitize my car after each random ride or hitch. This is also to ensure the safety of my regular passengers—the employees of the company in Makati–and the safety of myself and my family.
Was there a memorable passenger for you?
Well, most of them are memorable, especially when you hear their stories about their struggles to find a ride. You’ll be amazed at how they manage to cope with those difficulties every single day. (Read: 4 Millennial Frontliners Who Are Making A Big Difference)
What hours do you usually allow people to hitch?
I usually check the RG Community Facebook page for whoever wants to hitch a ride. But most of the time I offer it randomly on people who are waiting for a ride along Commonwealth. I usually do it around 5:30 to 6:00 in the morning or around the time that I’m on my way home.
How long do you plan to do this?
As long as there is a need for people, I will continue to do this. (Read: Here’s Why Lolo Kiko Wants You to Help the Poor Amid the Pandemic)