By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday (June 14) her office and its private partners are pushing through with the opening of the temporary shelters for medical frontliners at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City.
Robredo made the announcement on her weekly radio show after the scheduled inauguration and blessing of The Oasis was postponed last June 12 due to tropical depression “Butchoy.”
“Hopefully after ng blessing bukas, pwede na siya tirhan ng frontliner. Halos tapos na, konting ayos na lang today. Bukas, reding-ready na (the blessing tomorrow, the frontliners can live there already. It is almost complete, we just need to fix it a little bit. Tomorrow, it will be ready),” she said.
The vice president will attend the event, along with architects Peach Buencamino and Rene Heray, interior designers Ivy and Cynthia Almario, and hospital officials, among other partners of the project.
“Hindi tayo makakapag-imbita dahil sa social distancing, so pupunta kami doon kasama lang iyong partners at officials ng Lung Center (We can’t invite people because of social distancing so we will go there only with the partners and officials of the Lung Center),” she said.
The Oasis will feature six air-conditioned shelters that can accommodate up to 10 frontliners each.
These housing units were donated by IKEA, a Swedish furniture company that will open its first store in the country this year.
Last May, the IKEA shelters were shipped from Poland in coordination with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
Buencamino said The Oasis will not only provide health workers temporary houses, but it is also a place where they can rest and recharge as their long shifts take a toll on their physical, mental, and emotional health.
“Iyong ang umpisa lang ng pag-aruga natin sa mga frontliners, mga medical frontliners na ang iniisip natin is…kung na-o-overwhelm na sila sa trabaho, mayroong silang pupuntahan para makapahinga (That’s only the start of taking care of our medical frontliners, of whom we are thinking that if they are overwhelmed at work, they have a place to rest),” the architect, who was a guest on Robredo’s radio show, said.
The Oasis is Robredo’s latest initiative to aid frontliners in the middle of the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her office has been providing food packs, personal protective equipment, and medical supplies for frontliners. It also rolled out online delivery service to help small market vendors and tricycle drivers in Quezon City and Pasig.