In times of crisis, let us lean in to hope instead of fear, unity instead of division. We all need to #HealAsOne.
Someone remarked about the recent events that took place on our country, “What happened to Compassion?” . The news about our President’s recent speech has been polarizing. Really, it’s the least we need at this time of crisis.
I am sharing Gia Indonto- Simbolan’s Facebook post. She calls herself “just a concerned citizen”, not a government employee nor journalist. She clarifies she is not affiliated with a party nor support a particular politician. Again “just a concerned citizen”.
It gets tricky in the Philippines, when one shares an opinion, you can get tagged as an anti or pro administration. As a World Pulse Ambassador, I remain apolitical because it’s part of our role.
I am sharing this to inform the world that compassion still exists in our country. In fact, our Bayanihan Spirit (Spirit of Solidarity) has been heightened in this time of crisis more than ever. If there are word wars happening in online spaces, it is because we care too much for everyone’s sake.
Here is Gia’s post:
“Disappointed by the president’s speech (March 31, 2020) not so much because of what was said but what was left out.
It was basically a rehash of the previous press conference, peppered by a line that could easily be taken out of context ("Napakaswerte nila na namatay sila para sa Bayan"), and an ode to China.
This morning before coming in for work, I read post after post of frustrated friends. I was fighting the urge to be reactive.
-- So I did a little research.
If you are looking for inspiration, know that the different government agencies are working non-stop.
Here are some of the things they’ve done:
1. DSWD is providing cash assistance (From PHP 5,000.00 to PHP8,000.00 a month for 2 months) This is other than the DOLE assistance of PHP 5,000. This includes those with no work no pay. See Sen. Grace Poe’s Soc Med infographic below.
DOLE is also active in several other COVID-19 initiatives than can be found on their official website, The link can be found below.
The TUPAD program also deserves a shout out. Link below.
2. Department of Agriculture is giving out seedlings and coordinating with LGU's for the distribution of fruits and vegetables along with food packs, Kadiwa Mobile markets are also bringing farmers’ goods to the people
3. For a breakdown of the IATF responsibilities, and appropriation, see attached photos. PLEASE take time to read them, it includes funeral arrangements, the DSWD’s aid to the indigent.
4. The DOH is working to include more testing centers. At the moment 8 centers(As of April 3, 2020) are testing a total of more or less, 3000 tests daily. See attached photos. Also attaching the picture of tests per institution.
The DOH has also procured 1 million complete PPE sets and are arriving this week.
Mass testing will be conducted this April 14. If you check the process of accreditation of institutions you’ll see that there are specific requirements before it can be signed off.
The DOH also prioritizes your mental health, there are multiple hotlines. see link for details.
5. Toll is free for essential personnel (SMC tolls and MPIC under the leadership of DPWH)
6. There will be a moratorium on rent, loan payments etc., refer to my previous post on Bayanihan Heal as One Act.
7. The BIR has moved their deadline to May 15,2020
8. The DTI is making sure that goods are being sold fairly and are actively going around suppliers for price gouging.
9. The Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center, Rizal Memorial Coliseum, and Philippine Sports Complex has been approved for use as quarantine facilities for COVID-19 PUIs. They are also anticipating the surge of patients and planning thoughtfully before it happens.
See photo and article attached.
A massive forced quarantine will also be prepared for those who cannot self-quarantine effectively. See article below
Apart from the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls, the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the following sites will also be converted:
1. Amoranto Stadium
2. Quezon Institute
5. Filinvest Tent
6. PhilSports Complex
7. Quezon City Circle
8. Veterans Memorial Circle
9. New Clark City Government Center
10. New Clark City Athlete's Village
Sample photo of DPWH Progress and map of facilities below.
10. FDA has approved rapit test kits that can detect the virus in five minutes, FDA is also expediting imports of ventilators
11. There is a 24/7 COVID hotline that aims to reduce hospital traffic.
There’s also an app that can help if you need testing:
12. Department of Finance adapts a three pronged approach to mitigate social and economic effects of COVID
13. DOE has suspended meter reading and bill delivery, also controlling oil prices
14. CHED initiatives:
- CHED signed the guidelines to allow LGUs to use the facilities of state universities and colleges as quarantine centers. https://news.mb.com.ph/…/ched-sets-guidelines-for-quaranti…/
- CHED Also helped the stranded students abroad because of the community quarantine. https://www.google.com/…/256037-filipino-students-repatriat…
- CHED has been monitoring all HEIs on their initiatives like producing their own ethyl alcohol, hand soaps and food packs to the frontliners in their respective communities https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097007.
15. PHILHEALTH IS COVERING ALL YOUR HOSPITAL BILLS UNTIL APRIL 14 IF YOU ARE INFECTED WITH COVID. Press release added below in the pictures
16. The DILG has launched a TRANSPARENCY TRACKER for the projects funds and plans, link here:
If you have any information on what other government agencies are offering, please share in this thread.
I added the first report to the Presidential Oversight Committee dated March 30, 2020.
Everyone is welcome to review this.
Also, whoever your PR team is, Mr. President sir, they could have had so much to work with.
So it’s come to this-
If we aren’t given the information the way we want it to be given, then let’s find it ourselves.
I HAVE TO HIGHLIGHT THIS:
PHILHEALTH WILL COVER ALL YOUR COVID EXPENSES & TESTING (UP TO 2 MILLION highest availament so far) UNTIL APRIL 14, 2020
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
ALSO, please visit the COVID-19 Official PCOO website -
You may check the photos and documents on her FB post. Source: https://www.facebook.com/554621012/posts/10157892334701013/?d=n
As I said COMPASSION STILL EXISTS in the Philippines.
Leaving you this song composed by our National Artist,
“Together we are being called
To make a future world
The test we face is for us to prove
That we can heal as one
We heal as one with kindness
We heal as one
We serve, we share, we show compassion
We heal as one”
World Pulse sisters, Let us heal as ONE.