There is still a long way to go when it comes to containing COVID-19 in the Philippines. But reading so much negativity and bad news on social media, it gets a little tough lifting the spirits up. With that, we’re here to shed some good news in light of the fight against the Coronavirus here in the Philippines.
Before anything else, we want to quickly note that despite all the good news we’re about to share, there is still so much that can be done for our country. So, we do hope that in spreading the word, it can motivate more people–especially our leaders and even you to step up and help our country.
Bela Padilla raising millions for affected street vendors
While everyone in Metro Manila is prohibited to leave their houses for the month-long quarantine, street vendors who rely on daily income are one of the most affected by it. Bela Padilla took to Twitter a call for help as she started a donation page called Pagkain para sa Pinoy, which aims to provide enough sustenance for the street vendors affected by the quarantine. In just three days, the 28-year-old actress raised 3.3 million pesos worth of donations. She shared that a good samaritan had donated 2 million pesos in one go and now that donations are closed, she is organizing the drive to distribute the funds for the 16 cities of Metro Manila.
Today is all about organizing. Quick thank yous to all the people willing to help so far. Pia Campos, Matteo Guidicelli, Anton Capistrano (I am relying heavily on your trucks right now 😭🙏🏻) Landers grocery, Ligo Sardines. THANK YOU 🙏🏻
— Bela Padilla (@padillabela) March 18, 2020
Unpaid interns voluntarily continuing their duties
Despite being ordered to go home, over 100 unpaid medical interns assigned to Philippine General Hospital (PGH) volunteered to go back on duty. The PGH is providing these interns with food, lodging, and protective gear as they assist patients and health workers in the public hospital.
UP Scientist developing cheaper COVID-19 test kits and UP Engineers building free sanitation tents
Developed by UP scientist Dr. Raul Destura and his team, the testing kit is more than six times cheaper than the current cost from foreign kits, which is currently pegged at P8500. The testing kit was funded by the DOST through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). The locally developed kit will cost P1320 only.
Meanwhile, a chief design officer shared that he and a team of industrial designers, chemists and engineers from UP Diliman’s College of Fine Arts, College of Science and College of Engineering started to design an “affordable and easy” sanitation tent. They are offering their readily available materials and designs to LGUs for free.
Mayor Vico Sotto setting the bar for what a competent leader should look like
The trending topic in Philippine media right now is the youngest mayor in Metro Manila, Pasig’s Vico Sotto. Among his many efforts, he recently installed sanitation tents on the entrances of Pasig City Hall and its two government hospitals. He also provided transportation for the city’s workers who are exempted from the quarantine, and a mobile kitchen to provide food for the frontliners and respondents. When you think about it, the Pasig mayor is merely doing his job. But what Filipinos appreciate about Vico Sotto is his compassion for the poor–something we only hear during campaigns but rarely ever see from politicians when the going gets tough.
PH Military offering trucks and buses for the stranded, quarantine-exempt workers
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) helped the stranded health workers and employees of essential services by deploying their trucks and buses in Metro Manila. Due to the enhanced community quarantine, public transportation has been prohibited to continue operations, leaving many workers without a way to get to work. Aside from the checkpoint operations, the AFP then provided transport assistance for those needing to reach their destinations.
President Duterte orders price control on food and medicine and compensation of health workers
Through Memorandum Circular No. 77, President Duterte directed all agencies and local government units to implement the price control on medicines, supplies, selected agriculture, and fishery commodities that the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture earlier issued. On Monday, the President also ordered the government to compensate health workers battling COVID-19. Duterte directed the budget and health departments to ensure compensation for health workers who are on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus disease.
100,000 government contractual workers to receive salaries
The Commission on Audit and Civil Service Commission have agreed to pay for the salaries of Metro Manila-based contractuals working in the government. It will cover 100,000 workers who are categorized under job orders or contract of service.
VP Leni Robredo providing free shuttle services and protective gear for health workers
[A] Sa lahat ng mga nag-aabang: Narito ang impormasyon tungkol sa routes ng free shuttle service ng Office ni VP Leni Robredo for health workers bukas, March 18.
Round trips will start 6AM, 11AM, and 4PM for all routes from the starting station. pic.twitter.com/WXhTH6jR6E
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) March 17, 2020
Vice President Leni Robredo and her team delivered 7,350 personal protective equipment sets to nine hospitals in the cities of Manila and Quezon on Monday. The Vice President also said her office raised P17.3 million for the sets as well as food and care packages for the health workers and their families. Along with this, the Vice President provided free shuttle services around Metro Manila for all the frontliners and health workers.
Influencers using their platform to raise half a million pesos for donations
You guys! We just reached P456,791 in 3 hours! Thank YOU for your generosity! WOW!
These will all go to our fellow Filipinos in need–PUV drivers, frontliners, the homeless, etc 💛
— HERSHEY NERI ✨ (@heyhersheyy) March 18, 2020
While some influencers are sitting comfortably at home, complaining about canned goods and posting tone-deaf monologues on social media, there are others like AC Soriano, Hershey Neri, Paul Maynard, Gigi Esguerra, TheSarangheOppa,and yanihatesu who used their platform to start a donation drive, raising P456,791 in just three hours.
Mayor Isko Moreno orders hotels in Manila to free lodging for health workers
Several hotel establishments in Manila City have committed to providing rooms for frontliners and healthcare workers living outside the city, free of charge amid the quarantine period. This was after Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno talked to hotel officials on Wednesday afternoon. So far, Sogo has agreed to provide 421 rooms; Eurotel, 50 rooms; and Town and Country, 60 rooms.
Mayor Rex Gatchalian setting up isolation centers
Better safe than sorry, the Valenzuela Mayor and his team set up modular tents and military cot beds in two isolation centers to handle cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Though there is only one positive case of COVID-19 in Valenzuela, the mayor said that they have prepared for “anything that may come our way. DILG instructed us so we followed.”
Walang Postive na Covid case to date sa Valenzuela City
Pero we are prepared for anything that may come our way. DILG instructed us so we followed
We now have two Central Isolation Centers. Disinfected, Set Up and in a couple of hours Sealed.
Sana wag na magamit ang mga eto pic.twitter.com/YTKKwg2syJ
— Rex (@rex_gatchalian) March 18, 2020
Utilities to extend billing deadlines
Some utility companies that provide Internet, electricity, water and more are delaying payments in light of COVID-19 and the enhanced community quarantine. These companies are extending payment deadlines for a month:
5. Manila Water
7. EastWest Bank
9. RCBC Bankard
Owner of a private facility in Pasig offers property for quarantine
An owner of a private facility in Pasig has offered that their establishment to be used to house those who need to undergo quarantine. According to the mayor, the Pasig City government would only need to pay minimal fees for electricity and water that will be used by the patients who will be accommodated in the building.
Doctor influencers offering free consults online
A Physician and influencer, Debbie Fermin, is offering free consultation related to COVID-19. On her Instagram post, she said that this is her means of helping her colleagues, the frontliners. For consultations and questions, send a direct message on her Instagram here.