By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
The local government of Valenzuela City will provide free food and accommodation to health workers from Obando, Bulacan, who are working in the city, after their mayor advised them to refrain from returning home as they “might put the health of [their] family and the whole of Obando in danger.”
Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Monday said that they welcome the healthcare providers of the province and they can temporarily stay in the city’s facility “for them to be taken care of.”
“There is a charging station and a grab-and-go counter where meals will be served round the clock. There is a mobile shower if they want to take a bath before work. There is an air-conditioned sleep area and a restroom with toiletries,” Gatchalian said in Filipino in a series of tweets.
“Ang mensahe namin sa mga frontline heroes from Obando, welcome po kayo. Hindi niyo na po kailangan mangamba na hindi kayo papaauwiin sa inyo (Our message to the frontline heroes from Obando is that you are welcome here. You don’t need to worry that you can’t go home at this time),” he added.
The city’s initiative came after Obando residents, who are health workers in Valenzuela hospitals, were advised to just stay in the city.
“Kaya’t ang pamahalaang bayan ng Obando ay nakikiusap sa mga health workers sa mga ospital na may positive COVID patient na sana naman po ay mag stay muna kayo sa area ng inyong trabaho at huwag munang umuwi sa Obando alang alang sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan at pamilya (The local government of Obando is requesting the health workers from hospitals with positive COVID patients to just stay for the mean time in your places of work… don’t go home to Obando for the sake of the citizens and our families),” according to a part of Obando Mayor Edwin Santos’ statement in his Facebook post.
In a recent media interview, Santos said that he fears of having a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case in his city as they don’t have the proper facilities to treat patients, not like his neighboring cities.
“Wala kaming ospital kagaya nila. Wala rin kaming malaking pondo na magagamit namin na katulad nila. Wala rin kaming pagdadalhan. So natatakot kami na…syempre, ako iniingatan ko lang mga kababayan ko (We don’t have a hospital like them. We don’t have a big fund that we can use like them. We don’t have anywhere [to bring the patients]. We are afraid…I’m just looking after the welfare of my constituents,” Santos explained as all their neighboring cities already have confirmed COVID-19 cases.