230 Zambales barangays get new service vehicles  

IBA, Zambales — Some 230 barangays in Zambales province have each received a new service vehicle which are seen to improve the residents’ mobility particularly during health emergencies.

Zambales barangay officials have expressed gratitude to the provincial government for providing the new services vehicles, which were released in batches among the 13 municipalities.

The vehicles are meant to increase community mobility and access of residents to government services, said Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.

The vehicles were all Isuzu Traviz light-duty trucks configured as utility vans and can comfortably seat 18 passengers and the driver. With the seats folded, the trucks can take in cargo of up to 1,665 kilograms.

The trucks are expected to be an essential workhorse for various barangay operations, especially those in remote areas, Ebdane also pointed out.

Barangay chairman Roselen Tabunday, 66, from the upland barangay of Maguisguis in Botolan, said the new Traviz vans are especially crucial during health emergencies.

“Kung may mga magpapagamot galing sa Baytan (eastern villages), o may manganganak na dadalhin sa ospital, ay tamang-tama ito,” Tabunday said.

Other than being used by the barangay council, the new Traviz van is also being borrowed for transport by schools in Maguisguis that have no vehicles of their own.

“Sobrang laking tulong ito para sa barangay,” echoed Poonbato barangay chairman Gary Guevarra, 46, who added that their Traviz vehicle also serves as the patrol car for barangay tanods at night.

“Hinihiram din ng mga teachers, katulad nang magpunta ang mga Day Care teachers at estudyante sa Pampanga. Kaysa mag-arkila pa sila ng sasakyan, kakargahan na lang nila ang diesel ito at okey na,” he added.

Both Tabunday and Guevarra said the new Traviz trucks are way better than the multicabs issued to them previously. “Pangatlong sasakyan na namin itong Traviz; dati ay nakatanggap kami ng dalawang mini,” Tabunday said.

In San Felipe town, barangay kagawad Helen Reguindin, 61, said their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic had emphasized the need for a service vehicle for use in remote communities like Paite, which is about seven kilometers from the town proper.

She said that the barangay has been issued a tricycle, but this has been given for the priority use of members of the indigenous Ayta tribe in the area.

“Malayo ang lugar namin; kung sakaling may mga emergency, kailangan talaga na may sasakyang magagamit,” she said. 

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