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    MESSAGE OF VP LENI ROBREDO Zamboanga City Hall

    Zamboanga City Hall

    START [00:00]

    HOST: To deliver her welcome address, let us give a round of applause to the mayor of the City of Zamboanga, Mayor Beng Climaco [applause].

    [Mayor Beng speaks in Chavacano 00:11 - 01:05]

    MAYOR BENG: This is a very momentous occasion amidst the pandemic, VP Leni came over. Why? Because she is where the action is. Amidst the difficulties of the Omicron surge, she comes to bring the needed Care Kits that will help the families of Zamboanga City.

    Way back when [inaudible 01:29] start of the pandemic, her office has already been coordinating with the city government, providing the needed PPEs when we ran out of PPEs at that time.

    [Speaks in Chavacano 01:41 - 01:53]

    Ganiyan po isang babae, isang nanay na may malaking malasakit at pagmamahal sa kaniyang mga anak. I’m very thankful as city mayor of Zamboanga to welcome you, VP Leni, in our 114-year old City Hall. [applause]

    We pray that with the presence of our coworkers in government, as we welcome you to Zamboanga, that you will continually be blessed by God to do more, to have an [inaudible 02:26] spirit of courage, of passion, and care for the people of God. This is what you’re called to do now as servants.

    [Speaks in Chavacano 02:40 - 02:45]

    Huwag matakot sapagkat alam na alam natin, to have that doubtless faith in God, that as what I heard earlier, she whom God calls, God will sustain, and you are sustained by God’s love as we welcome you to the City of Zamboanga.

    Bienvenidos y muchas gracias for these very important Care Kits and the E-Konsulta that began, started way back also, with the presence of our team from Jessie Lapinid, [inaudible 03:24] and the doctors, thank you very much. Dr. Anton and team and our volunteers and friends, bienvenidos a ciudad de Zamboanga. Muchas gracias.

    HOST: Thank you very much, Ma'am. [Introduces VP Leni in Chavacano 03:39 - 03:50]

    VP LENI: Good afternoon, everyone. Maupo po tayong lahat. Mayor Beng, Vice Mayor Meng, our dear city councilors who are present, the department heads of the City Government of Zamboanga, Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman of Basilan, Congressman Kit Belmonte, former Flag Officer in Command, Admiral Alex Palma, Father Karel SJ., Mike, our city administrator, Pastor, magandang hapon po. Sa inyong lahat, magandang, magandang hapon po.

    It is very good to be back in Zamboanga. Parang ang tagal ‘no pero noong Lunes nandito lang ako [applause]. I was here Monday evening after a series of visits with the different areas of Zamboanga Peninsula. When I came over last Monday, we were coming from Dipolog and Ipil and Kabasalan in Zamboanga Sibugay, then we were here to meet our volunteers and to thank them for their support, but we promised to be back today for this launch.

    Yesterday, we were in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and this morning we were in Basilan. We have several programs which we turned over under our Angat Buhay program to these provinces. And as Mayor Beng has said, ever since the pandemic broke in 2020, dalawang taon na, 2020, we have been coordinating with the City Government of Zamboanga for many different initiatives: the PPE sets; tapos nagkaroon din tayo ng Zamboanga version of the community mart, in partnership with the group of Dr. Anton; and now, we're bringing with us the COVID Care Kits, which we have been giving to COVID positive patients since I think April of this year, when the Delta variant started ravaging so many of our kababayans.

    We want to share the COVID Care Kit with you because we feel that Zamboanga City, because you have been very proactive also in the fight against the pandemic, will be very capable of launching your own program. 'Yung promise lang po namin, we will handhold you all the way.

    So, we're launching this afternoon o we just launched this afternoon the Ayudahan E-Konsulta, our version of Bayanihan E-Konsulta. Just to give you a brief overview of why we decided to launch it April 7 of 2021, 'yung panahon pong 'yun grabe 'yung surge ng Delta variant. And noong grabe 'yung surge ng Delta variant, napakaraming namamatay because this virus has been the most virulent, tapos sobrang punong-puno ng mga ospital sa Manila, such that COVID patients were dying while waiting for hospital beds already.

    So, we have been doing a lot of many different initiatives already. We were doing local production of PPE sets; we were doing shuttle buses for frontliners; we’re doing free dormitories for frontliners; we’re doing community marts; we were doing Community Learning Hubs.

    So, ang dami na naming ginagawa, pero noong nagkukulang na 'yung mga hospital beds, we felt so helpless. We felt so helpless, and you know I will be very honest with you, the first program that came to my mind to be able to support the lack of hospital beds for COVID patients was for us to put up an extension hospital.

    ‘Yun na ‘yung nasa isip namin pero marami sa aming nagsabi na mga partner doctors na napakahirap niyang gawin. Napakahirap niyang gawin because you know, we don’t have funds of our own. We're trying to do a lot of things given our limited mandate and our limited resources.

    So, we thought of doing a free teleconsult. Alam po namin na many other hospitals were also offering teleconsultations, pero a lot of people don’t have access to those teleconsultations because, number 1, they’re expensive; and number 2, they’re not very accessible.

    So, we conceptualized Bayanihan E-Konsulta. Kung mapapansin niyo po, nasa free data ito ng Facebook, and it was deliberate on our part to make it available sa free data ng Facebook so that it will be accessible kahit doon sa mga walang pambayad ng data. But it was very apparent that it was not easy na ginagamit namin ‘yung free data kasi ang daming mga features na hindi namin puwedeng ma-access because we were using Facebook free data.

    Noong nag-umpisa po kami, we were very ambitious. Wala naman kaming kaalam-alam sa teleconsult. Noong nag-umpisa po ito, we only had three full-time doctors, and one of them was my daughter. ‘Yung anak ko kapapasa pa lang naman sa medical boards. Nakahanap kaming dalawang mahusay na doktor. Nagfull-time sila, pero we were swamped with patients.

    Ako, kinukwento ko kanina sa iba sa inyo na pati ako nagdu-duty. Nagdu-duty ako every 12 midnight until mga 4 or 5 in the morning. Siguro one time ‘yung pinakamatagal ko nang duty hanggang 8 in the morning because I do volunteer work until the last patient has been admitted to a hospital. Ito ‘yung mga severe.

    Kinukuwento ko sa kanila kanina na it was very difficult for us, but it was also very clear to us that we have to do something no matter how difficult. Naalala ko parati kong sinasabi sa mga staff, huwag niyo nang tanungin kung madali. Huwag niyo nang sabihin na mahirap. Ang tanungin niyo na lang kung kailangan. Kasi kung kailangan, kailangan nating gawin. And, pati 'yung mga volunteers namin tinatawanan kami at that time, sinasabi nila para namang pinalundag niyo kami sa cliff and we were just building the plane on the way down because we perfected the entire program as we were already in the process of doing teleconsultation.

    Right now, we have more than 1,000 volunteer doctors. We have almost 4,000 non-medical volunteers, pero kinukulang pa din kami, lalo na noong sumipa 'yung Omicron variant. Dahil kinukulang kami, we put a cap: 400 patients a day only and nag-o-automatic na shut off 'yung bot ng program ‘pag naka-400 patients na. In the last– ngayon mabuti-buti na. Parang tatlong araw na mabuti-buti. ‘Pag mabuti-buti, nagsha-shut off siya mga after 13 minutes. Pero, over the last two weeks siguro, hindi pa ten minutes shut down na kasi naka-400 patients na.

    So, that's how bad this variant is, and that's how bad this surge is. So, naisip namin na we want to help other local government units who have the capacity to do it, and tutulungan namin every step of the way. And we are so thankful to Mayor Beng, to the entire LGU of Zamboanga for being very open with partnering with us kasi hindi po ito madali. Hindi siya madaling gawin, pero gaya ng lagi nating inuulit, kahit siya mahirap, basta kailangan, gagawin natin.

    And that is how Zamboanga City has always shown the way, na in the most difficult times, that's when we show our best also. So, I am very hopeful that this Ayudahan [inaudible 12:20] will go a long, long way in providing assistance to all our COVID-positive patients as it did sa mga pasyente po namin sa Metro Manila. And ang assurance lang namin, we are here with you anytime that you would need our help.

    So, maraming salamat again for being our partner in many of our endeavors. Thank you also to everyone who has been contributing to everything we're doing. Thank you to Fr. Karel and Ateneo de Zamboanga [applause].

    Mahirap po siyang gawin ‘pag walang partner school, and the reason also why we were able to take off is that a number of schools partnered with us. So, the help of Ateneo de Zamboanga is very, very crucial, so maraming salamat Fr. Karel.

    Sa inyo pong lahat, maraming salamat. Mabuhay po kayo [applause].

    HOST: Thank you very much, our Vice President, the Honorable Leni Robredo. As our Vice President has earlier mentioned, the City Government, together with the Office of the Vice President, has launched the Ayudahan E-Konsulta. The City Government of Zamboanga, in coordination with the Office of the Vice President, officially launched the Ayudahan E-Konsulta, a free online service providing teleconsultation support to out-patient cases in Zamboanga City.

    At this point, we shall have the formal turnover of the 500 COVID Care Kits from the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to our city mayor, Mayor Beng Climaco. [applause]

    [END 14:06]

    Zamboanga City Hall
    26 January 2022, Wednesday

    [START 00:00]

    VP LENI: It is nice to see everyone again, I was just here Monday. [Crowd cheers] Sana po hindi kayo nagsasawa sa ‘kin, andito na naman ako ngayon. [Crowd cheers, VP Leni laughs]

    Pero, bumalik po tayo ngayon because we launched the local version of Bayanihan E-Konsulta. [Crowd cheers] Dito po sa Zamboanga, it’s Ayudahan E-Konsulta [Crowd cheers], and we would like to thank Mayor Beng and the rest of the LGU family, LGU Zamboanga City, for partnering with us.

    Kami po, ang amin pong commitment is to handhold and mentor ‘yung mga nagpapatakbo ng Ayudahan E-Konsulta the rest of the way. I hope makatulong ito sa mga nagkakasakit. Sana po hindi kayo magkasakit. I will be visiting every now and then, and I am just so grateful. I am just so grateful for all your support. [Crowd cheers]

    ‘Pag ganito po ‘yung pagmamahal na pinapakita niyo sa akin, talagang gaganahan ako bumalik-balik. [Crowd cheers]

    So, maraming salamat. Please keep safe. Ingat po kayo lahat. [Crowd cheers]

    [END 01:37]

    Zamboanga City Hall
    26 January 2022, Wednesday


    Q: Gaano kalaking tulong po for Zamboanga ‘yung COVID Care Kits na natanggap niyo from VP Leni?

    MAYOR BENG: Ya, well, at first, we were very apprehensive about the timing of the visit of Vice President Leni, but as what I said in Chavacano, a woman, a mother, a leader dares to go where the danger is because she shows to her children that she is courageous enough, doubtless, with full of faith in God to go where the danger is, to minister and to help her children who are sick.

    These COVID Care Kits are an example of what every local government unit should have. In fact, when we saw the TikTok version of one of her followers– not really follower, somebody posted it, ginaya din namin kasi gusto namin sa local government unit namin na may ganiyan kaming COVID Care Kits, kung puwede nga lang in a pink box. I personally had pink boxes to be given to certain people, but we will try the best that we can to also give what she has started.

    You see, it has just proven to us that in the visit of Vice President Leni, that this kind of partnership is something that’s needed. And if we are to choose leaders for local government unit, kasi sinasabi ko I welcome all the candidates to come over for our people to really make the wise decision, ang criteria is dapat kung sinong tumulong sa Zamboanga. Dapat ‘yun ang pipiliin at kung ano ang nagawa nila sa panahon ng pandemic, not because they want to be elected, but sa oras ng pangangailangan, nandiyan ang kanilang puso at tulong sa amin.

    Q: Saan gagamitin ang COVID Care Kits?

    MAYOR BENG: We’re going to give it–because DOH has allowed home isolation and we have people staying in home isolation right now, and we will be giving it to the families.

    Another very important aspect is the Ayudahan E-Konsulta ran by young people and volunteers, and I’m appealing na sana po, ‘yung mga doktor na nandito for Leni will also volunteer because it’s something that the local government unit needs since we also have our medical officers taking care of the regional vaccination today, hindi na nila maalagaan ‘yung mga pasyente na nangangailangan ng tulong, as what I think Doc Tricia (Robredo) has done and VP Leni has done.

    Q: May Bayanihan E-Konsulta ang OVP. You have your own version finally here in Zamboanga. How did that come about?

    MAYOR BENG: Itong (Ayudahan) E-Konsulta has really been in the works way back in 2020. We were finalizing this to be launched, and these are long partnerships that you talk about. It’s not just all of a sudden, just because she’s here. So, I’m very thankful that we have dedicated staff, like Jessie Lapinid, who’s really been nakatutok, and I’m thankful also, ‘yung mga medical students natin of Ateneo and some volunteers helping out on this. You really need to merge technology to answer to the needs of people, but what I’m excited about is that young people are volunteering to make the COVID response better.

    Q: It’s modelled after the Bayanihan E-Konsulta?

    MAYOR BENG: Definitely, yes. Ang Ayudahan E-Konsulta is really crafted by the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo. They just partnered with local governments, but also asked us to have our own resources para may ambag din kami, at humingi po kami ng tulong ng Ateneo de Zamboanga, sila Dr. Anton, para makapag-realize. Pero since this is still in the works right now, kailangan din ng mga dedicated doctors who will really have time to listen to the needs of our people, in as much as we already have the One Hospital Command and OpCen. Actually, nagrereklamo na din sila sa OpCen kasi napakadami na rin silang trabaho, overwhelmed na rin.

    Q: Kailan po magsa-start? Or nag-start na po?

    MAYOR BENG: Well, it started already and we already received some calls. In fact, kanina mga humihingi ng contact tracing at testing, and we give it for free in Zamboanga. Thank you for the inspiration of a mother who dared to go where the danger is, courageous, dauntless, and full of faith in God.

    Q: How many volunteers do you have for Ayudahan E-Konsulta?

    MAYOR BENG: Well, for the launching kanina, there’s just like how many, eight of them, or about a dozen of them, but there are still people working behind. So, ang magandang challenge is really to have the doctors really come in and help us, and I saw some of the doctors today supporting VP Leni, and I hope that it can be translated to more doctors to help us. In fact, mananawagan din kami para sa mga doktor and those in the profession to help.



    Posted in Transcripts on Jan 26, 2022