THE House Defeat COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee (DCC) has adopted a resolution expressing the highest appreciation and profound gratitude of the House of Representatives to all Filipino healthcare workers and other frontliners such as garbage collectors, delivery services, banks, media, grocery and factory workers in the fight against coronavirus disease-19 (COVID) pandemic.
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, co-chairperson of DCC with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, endorsed for plenary adoption a substitute resolution for House Resolution Nos. 878, 836, 843, 893, 894, 895, and 932 that chairpersons Rep. Angelina "Helen" Tan (Quezon) and Rep. Janette Garin (Iloilo) of the Health and COVID-19 Response Sub-Committee transmitted to DCC.
The substitute resolution is expected to be adopted very soon in the Plenary.
Romualdez, chairman of the powerful House committee on rules, recognized the courage and unselfish services being rendered by healthcare workers and other frontliners to the nation and across the globe in the fight against COVID-19.
“We need to act fast as time is not on our side. I enjoin our fellow House members to support all legislative measures aimed at empowering our people and our nation in the fight against COVID-19. Now more than ever, we need to be united in this war against an invisible yet vicious enemy. With arms linked, we will win as one,” said Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD).
Amid the lingering suffering and despair of the people, and notwithstanding the ominous dangers that the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus poses upon them and their families, Romualdez said “countless and nameless brave and selfless individuals have valiantly responded to the call of duty to save lives and spare the nation from the devastation of COVID-19.”
Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon, a friend of Lakas-CMD, commended the medical practitioners and other essential workers in the country for “their invaluable contribution in the time of COVID-19.”
“Thanks to all the heroic services and valiant efforts of our healthcare workers and other essential workers. The commitment, bravery, sacrifice and hard work you have been showing have saved many lives,” said Lagon who took note that doctors, nurses, medical technologists, barangay health workers and allied health professionals and workers serving in private and public hospitals and facilities, as well as in communities, within and outside of the Philippines, have placed their own lives in peril.
The resolution also recognized the heroic services of members of the military and police force; national and local government frontline officials and employees; media personnel; civil society organizations; factory workers; garbage collectors; as well as those manning the airports, groceries, banks, food establishments, and delivery services, among other essential service providers in the war against COVID-19.
Other authors of resolution include Tan, Reps. Robert Ace S. Barbers, Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II, Ron P. Salo, Rose Marie “Baby” J. Arenas, Aleta C. Suarez, John Marvin “Yul Servo” C. Nieto, Janette L. Garin, M.D., Angelo Marcos Barba, Marlyn “Len” B. Alonte, Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado, Kristine Alexie B. Tutor, Ruth Mariano- Hernandez, Resurreccion Acop, Faustino “Inno” A. Dy V, Cheryl P. Deloso-Montalla, Ciriaco B. Gato Jr., Victor A. Yap, Dahlia A. Loyola, Ma. Bernardita “Ditas” B. Ramos, John Reynald M. Tiangco, Diego “Nonoy” C. Ty, Micaela S. Violago, Estrellita B. Suansing, Princess Rihan M. Sakaluran, Adriano A. Ebcas, Alberto “Bobby” D. Pacquiao, Hector S. Sanchez, Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles, Francisco G. Datol Jr., Divina Grace C. Yu, Teodorico T. Haresco Jr., Stella Luz A. Quimbo, Angelica Natasha-Co, Irene Gay F. Saulog, Sarah Jane I. Elago, Deogracias Victor “DV” B. Savellano, and Anthony Peter “Onyx” D. Crisologo.
DISINFECTION MACHINES DONATED TO 6 GOV’T HOSPITALS
In a related development, Bagong Henerasyon Foundation Inc. (BHFI) led by House Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera and Rotary International District 3780 are donating P5-million worth of mobile full-body disinfection machines and disinfectants to six government hospitals in Quezon City through the help of consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser.
The hospitals are Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Philippine Orthopedic Center, Quezon City General Hospital, Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital, PNP General Hospital and AFP General Hospital.
Each hospital will receive one unit of HWL MIST Mobile Thermometry, Scanning and Disinfection Channel with six months supply of disinfectants, according to RI District 3780 Past District Governor and Herrera.
Herrera, a deputy of Romualdez, is leading the donation initiative, along with Rotary Club of Sta. Mesa, Quezon City Lieutenant Governor Robert Nazal.
“These equipment will help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, especially in the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic,” Herrera
said. “This is part of the continuing efforts of BHFI and Rotary District 3780 to help the government in its fight against COVID-19, particularly in Quezon City which has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.”
REGULAR COVID TEST FOR DELIVERY RIDERS SOUGHT Ang Probinsyano party-list Rep. Ronnie Ong commended Grab Philippines for launching free swab testing for its drivers and rider partners as he urged other riders and delivery companies to do the same.
“Our drivers are our frontliners too -- watch out for, and take care of them,” said Ong who proposed that riders of the country’s various logistics and courier service companies, including the so-called on-demand delivery service providers, should be mandated to undergo COVID-19 tests at last every two weeks to ensure that they are virus-free as they come in contact with their customers.
Ong said that to ensure full compliance and guarantee the safety of their riders and their customers, companies like Angkas, Grabexpress, Lalamove, Joyride and Mr. Speedy should shoulder the rapid tests and if needed, the required confirmatory PCR tests.
"Their riders come in contact with hundreds of customers daily and handle daily essentials of the public from food items to personal
packages. The companies should make sure that their riders are tested at least every 14 days to prevent possible carriers from spreading the virus further," Ong said.
“The companies must shoulder the cost of these tests as a show of goodwill for their riders who are taking the risk of exposure from the COVID virus. We should not put this extra financial burden for our riders who have already sacrificed enough just to be able to survive during these very difficult times. Huwag kita lang dapat ang priority, dapat siguraduhin at tignan din nila ang kapakanan ng kanilang mga riders. Dahil kung wala ang riders nila, wala rin ang kumpanya nila,” Ong added.
By conducting COVID tests every 14 days, the risk of having riders who could be possible carriers is minimized and the danger of exposing their clients to the virus can be pre-empted. These rider-based delivery and courier companies can conduct rapid tests and if a rider is tested positive of the virus or is negative but manifests COVID symptoms, they should also shoulder the cost of the mandatory confirmation test.
These companies should also provide financial aid for riders who would be required to undergo quarantine if and when they become infected with the virus.
"We recognize that our riders are our frontliners too -- they help us get our food, our essential items and even our personal items
conveniently from one point to another without us leaving the comforts of our homes. Thus, we also need to ensure that they are healthy,” Ong stressed.
Ong has led the call for the government to allow motorcycle backriding among couples and family members and is behind the strong lobby for
the government to scrap the mandatory use of plastic dividers on motorcycles.