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    MESSAGE OF VP LENI ROBREDO OPENING OF COVID COMPLEX OF HOPE MEDICAL CITY – SOUTH LUZON

    MESSAGE OF VP LENI ROBREDO OPENING OF COVID COMPLEX OF HOPE MEDICAL CITY – SOUTH LUZON

    Maraming salamat! Maupo po tayong lahat.

    Dr. Cesar Espiritu; Dr. Eugene Ramos; Dr. Villano; Dr. Ancheta; Engr. Jamandre and the rest of the team; ang atin pong mga frontliners na nandito ngayon; siyempre iyong aking kaibigan, Mayor Arlene Arcillas, na napakasipag; sa inyo pong lahat: magandang, magandang umaga!

    Isang malaking karangalan na naimbitihan ako ngayong umaga ni Dr. Cesar to be with you in such an auspicious occasion because today is a day to celebrate. Ang pagkaalam ko kayo iyong pinakauna na nagkaroon ng stand-alone na COVID hospital. [applause]

    Kaya siya mahalaga dahil ito iyong pagpapakita na [with the] bayanihan spirit nothing is impossible. Ito po iyong tema na nagiging saving grace ng aming opisina for a very long time.

    I think most of you are aware that the Office of the Vice President does not have enough mandate and resources to do the many things that we wanted to do. Pero in all the four years that we have been in office, we have been able to extend help to the communities because of private sector support. At ito rin iyong nangyari sa [The] Medical City - Santa Rosa. Nagawa niyo ito dahil sa pagtulung-tulungan hindi lang ng pamahalaan pero—ng pamahalaan ng Santa Rosa at ng lalawigan ng Laguna—pero dahil din sa maraming mga private—members of the private sector who supported this endeavor.

    When my staff first told me about this morning, tinatanong ako. Sabi sa akin, “Iniimbita ka ni Dr. Cesar. Pupunta ka ba?” Sabi ko, “Oo siyempre pupunta ako.” Sabi sa akin, “Talaga? Alas-siyete ng umaga iyon.” Sabi ko, “Hindi ako puwedeng humindi for many reasons. Unang-una, ang dami kong utang kay Dr. Cesar.” [laughter] Ewan ko po kung nalalaman niyo—hindi lang kay Dr. Cesar pero kay Dr. Ancheta rin and many other staff of [The] Medical City - Santa Rosa—siguro alam niyo na every once in a while, nandito iyong aming team sa inyo, kinukulit kayo dahil si Dr. Cesar tsaka si Dr. Ancheta ang tumutulong sa atin to review all the fabrics that we will be using for the PPEs. Kaya sinasabihan ko po iyong aming staff na nakakahiya na sa kanila kasi unti-unti na lang tatawagan natin, sasabihin natin may mga ipapa-review na naman kami.

    Pero napakalaking tulong po iyon kasi when the pandemic started—or even before it was declared a pandemic—noong nagkaroon na ng mga kaso dito sa Pilipinas, paunti-unti pa lang noon, my staff and I already decided that we will have—pero parating problema namin wala kaming resources, wala kaming mandato, pero gusto na naming tumulong. And when the cases started to spike, sabi namin ang parating—ang parating hinaing ng mga medical frontliners: kulang ng PPEs.

    So, as early as March 13, we already launched an online donation drive na to this day—the drive already ended April 30, but we were able to collect [60,973,072.09] pesos. Pero habang pumapasok iyong pera, nag-o-order kami nang nag-o-order ng PPEs, kulang na kulang. May pera kami pero walang nabibili. That was when we decided to partner with a group of designers so that we would be able to locally-produce the PPEs already. And with the benefit of hindsight, it was a very good move, in the sense na we are not so dependent on imported PPEs anymore. Nagpo-produce na tayo when our designer friends, partners uploaded our design in an open source, ang dami nang gumagawa ng PPEs on their own even in the provinces. Pero iyong danger lang noon, ang iba gumagawa na hindi pinapa-check kung medically acceptable iyong mga fabrics na ginagamit.

    So, iyon iyong malaking tulong sa amin ng [The] Medical City - Santa Rosa because as I’ve said earlier, we have been bombarding Dr. Cesar sa pagpapa-check. At ito ay para lang aksidente, Dr. Cesar, ‘di ba? Ka-text noong anak ko, sabi ko sa anak ko, “Tanungin mo nga si Doc Cesar kung puwede tayong matulungan sa pagche-check ng fabrics.” And Dr. Cesar immediately said yes. Alam niyo po si Doc Cesar, kaya ko siya nakilala kasi siya iyong nag-opera sa anak ko sa cataract. My daughter had a cataract operation last year at the age of 30. So, si Doc Cesar po iyong nag-opera. Pero—[technical difficulty]—naiinitan na iyong mic. [laughter]

    Pero puwera po noon, TMC is part of our family. Dr. Eugene, my second daughter is a medical intern sa TMC sa Pasig [City], and dapat graduating po siya ngayon. Graduating siya sa ASMPH [Ateneo de Manila University School of Medicine and Public Health]. Hindi niya alam kung magkakaroon pa ng graduation. Dapat sana sa August iyong kanilang graduation. Hindi niya alam. So, Eugene, nagvovolunteer po iyong anak ko once a week sa inyo. Gusto niyang humawak ng pasyente pero binabawalan daw silang humawak kaya they’re just doing office work.

    Pero [The] Medical City has been at the forefront of all the COVID-19 cases. Kung maaalala niyo, iyong pinakaunang mga very serious cases, iyong TMC talaga iyong tumanggap. And the whole nation is indebted to all of you. Utang po namin sa inyo—[applause]—utang po namin sa inyo na sinusugal niyo ang mga buhay niyo para iligtas kaming lahat. So the least that we can do is offer our help; the least we can do is lighten your burden. Alam po namin kung gaano kahirap para sa inyo so our office has been doing many things para, sa iyong sa kaalaman namin,  makakagaan ng kahit papaano sa burdens niyo.

     

    Aside from the PPEs, we had our shuttle service for frontliners. We’re now operating 12 dormitories for frontliners and ito po, nakikita namin iyong kuwento ng bawat isa, iyong sakripisyo ng bawat isa na hindi nakikita iyong mga pamilya, hindi nakakauwi sa kanilang mga bahay, isinusugal iyong mga buhay para sa ating lahat. And ito po, utang namin sa inyo.

     

    We would also like to thank the engineering team headed by Engr. Jamandre for doing this initiative—[applause]—with [The] Medical City – Santa Rosa. Kaya rin po ako pumunta ngayong umaga kasi gusto namin i-showcase iyong ginawa niyo rito para panggayahan—panggayahan ng ating mga kababayan all over the Philippines.

     

    So, congratulations. Congratulations, Doc Cesar. [applause] Congratulations to the entire—the TMC - Santa Rosa team, siyempre iyong TMC na rin, as a whole. And maraming salamat din kay Mayor Arlene na hindi magagawa iyong lahat na ito kung hindi sa tulong ng City of Santa Rosa. Magandang umaga pong muli. Mabuhay kayong lahat! [applause]

     

    -30-

    Posted in Speeches on May 11, 2020