By Jonathan Hicap
Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon and his friends are raising funds for the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa, a health facility that tests patients for the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
What started as a Twitter conversation about DJ (disc jockey) equipment and a plan to meet “eventually evolved into the idea of DJ jam for a cause,” Biazon told Manila Bulletin.
The “Titos Save The World” DJ party was held on March 6, an initiative by Biazon, former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, Marga Deona and Don Ubaldo, a.k.a. DJ Wicked Adobo.
By the end of the event, the group had raised P98,000. After the event, a Filipino actor and politician pledged P10,000 and the total amount collected reached P188,000. Twitters users have also asked Biazon how to donate for the cause.
Biazon said RITM “didn’t ask for the donations . Our group, mostly private individuals (3 out of 4), decided to pitch in to help. The choice was RITM given the crucial role it plays in the fight against the virus.”
In a letter to Biazon, RITM Director IV Celia Carlos provided a list of equipment needed by the facility including tents, cooling fans and laptop computer.
“Also, it will be more helpful if the above-mentioned items will be given as items with a deed of donation rather than in cash since all funds received by the RITM must undergo the mandatory requirements and processes set forth in Republic Act 9184 or the Procurement Law. Many thanks for your generosity and continued support in responding to infectious disease outbreaks,” Carlos told Biazon.
Biazon said the funds will be “used to set up a makeshift triage facility to receive patients for testing. So we’ll just pool the funds and buy the items based on their canvass.”
The Department of Health (DOH) announced that there are now six cases of COVID-19 in the country. It also confirmed the first case of local transmission, prompting it to raise the COVID-19 Alert System to Code Red sublevel 1, a preemptive call for national and local governments and public and private health care providers to be ready for possible increase in COVID-19 suspected and confirmed cases, the DOH said.
It said the sixth confirmed case is a 59-year-old female who was admitted to the RITM on March 5.