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Good and bad news in Manila amid COVID-19

BATANG MAYNILA

By MAYOR ISKO MORENO

Mayor Isko MorenoMayor Isko Moreno

Mayor Isko Moreno

A mix of positive and negative developments has taken place inManila this past week.

The good news is that no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, the leadership of the House of Representatives, and about 200 members of Congress, led by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Buhay partylist Rep. Lito Atienza, and Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte, have joined hands in donating their very own salaries to help in the fight against COVID-19.

The same thing happened in Manila as the city councilors, including Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and myself, were able to raise a total of P4.7 million from the salaries we donated. The money goes to the Philippine General Hospital which is now among the public hospitals designated to attend to COVID-19 cases.

Also this week, I am pleased and thankful to have been able to get the full support of the city council, headed by Vice Mayor Lacuna, President Pro Tempore Ernesto Isip, Jr., and Majority Leader Joel Chua, for the passage of a City Amelioration Crisis Assistance Fund (CACAF)’ ordinance which realigned a total of P591.5 million which enabled the city government to provide P1,000 financial assistance to a total of 468,000 families, based on lists given by the city’s 896 barangay chairpersons, with the aim of somehow cushioning the economic effect of the COVID 19 crisis and to enable the people of Manila to purchase much- needed food and supplies for their survival.

While we are nearing completion of the delivery of food boxes to the same number of beneficiaries covering the 1.8 million population of residents in Manila, the cash assistance will serve the purpose of augmenting and catching up with the initial help extended by the city.

It thus addressed the problem of the delay in the arrival of the food supplies ordered by the city which results naturally, in the delay of the distribution of food items because that is where the problem really lies and it’s beyond our control since there is a slowdown in the production of these food supplies.

Those who have not received their food boxes became the priority, this time, in the cash assistance until the food and cash aid meet in the middle, with everybody already receiving both.

At this point, I am happy to report that save for a few complaints which we are still verifying, the heads of barangays in Manila have generally proven that they are worth the full trust and confidence of the city leadership and the citizens, owing to the help they have extended so that our little help would be able to reach every family in this time of crisis.

The bad news is that we had to temporary close down the Ospital ng Sampaloc (OS), which serves the sick residents of the fourth district of Manila, after five of its staff were found to have been infected with COVID-19. A total of 14 doctors, eight nurses, and seven administrative staff of the hospital also had to undergo quarantine.

The city government’s free hospital services continued though, as the city is fortunate to have a total of six city hospitals to serve the six districts of Manila, namely Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center (District 1), Ospital ng Tondo (District 2), Justice Abad Santos General Hospital (District 3), Ospital ng Maynila (District 5) and Sta. Hospital (District 6) which now houses the Manila Infectious Disease Control Center (MIDCC) where COVID 19 patients from Manila are treated.

I am also super thankful to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire for having expressed support to the decision of the Manila city government to come up with an ordinance that prohibits any form of discrimination against frontliners and COVID 19 patients and that they even urged all other local government units (LGU) to enact their own measures with the same purpose in mind. The ordinance was borne out of stories that I personally heard about our poor health frontliners and those who are either persons under investigation, persons under monitoring, and even former COVID patients suffering the brunt of stigmatization in various cruel ways including not being welcomed in their communities and even own homes.

As of this writing, the Metro Manila Development Council (MMDA) has adopted the measure and these actions will certainly redound to the benefit of our overworked health workers and suffering patients and even former patients who have recovered from the illness but not the stigma attached to it unnecessarily by shameless, narrow-minded inspaniduals.

Last but definitely not the least, I profusely thank former Mayor Fred Lim for having donated P500,000 for the people of Manila. It is admirable that he not only showed his love for his beloved city and fellow Manilans; he also proved to one and all that he is one with the present city government when it comes to helping the needy specially during times of crisis. His act of generosity is truly worthy of emulation by other former city officials.

Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!

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For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account— ‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’

=”https://news.mb.com.ph//mayor-isko-moreno/” rel=””>Mayor Isko Moreno




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