Officials from Barangay 13 in Legazpi City rushed to a hotel to confront its management on why they allowed medical frontliners to be staying in the hotel without the knowledge of the barangay or its Health Emergency Response Team.
A certain Irvin Sandia, indicating himself as an emergency room nurse at the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, posted his disgust via Facebook on the ultimatum given to them by the barangay officials to leave the hotel.
He lamented the disregard for the anti-discrimination ordinance against frontliners like him in the incident as he posted photos of the barangay staff approaching the hotel.
“We just want a comfortable place to rest after a long tiring day at work. We are not asking for much nor abusing our privilege. We are serving our country, but then, this is what we get,” Sandia said in his post.
In an interview with Barangay 13 chairman Malou Baltazar, she said they were merely acting on complaints of alarmed residents in seeing hotel guests wearing personal protection equipment in their barangay.
However, this writer did not get a clear answer from the barangay chairman when asked for the reason why they demanded for the medical workers to leave.
Sandia’s post earned the sympathy of many netizens, who even castigated the barangay officials for the discriminatory act.
Nelson Bulalacao, a well-known Legazpi news anchor, took the cudgels for the medical frontliners and asked Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal to look into the matter.
Bulalacao revealed to this writer that the affected medical frontliners were already transferred to a more isolated hotel though quite a distant from the original one.
He added that there is no need to require hotels to report taking medical frontliners as guests so he wondered why the drastic action from the officials.