Open hotels, inns, motels to COVID-19 patients — Duterte

Published December 8, 2020, 12:14 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government is willing to shoulder the expenses of hotels and resorts that will be converted into temporary medical facilities for Filipinos with suspected or confirmed new coronavirus disease.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte held a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on December 7, 2020, and provided updates on the government’s efforts to address the COVID-19 crisis in the country.

The President has asked owners of hotels, inns and motels to help Filipinos in need, admitting there is a “dearth of space” for people battling the illness.

“To the owners of hotels, inns, motel maybe kung wala ng iba, nagkulang, to accommodate the Filipinos who are in need of help. I will assume the full responsibility of paying you pagdating ng panahon (when the time comes),” Duterte said during his televised address Monday.

“I will ask Congress, I will plead sa kanila na hanapan ng paraan bayaran kayo, and I will personally see to it that you are paid on time,” he added.

The President also directed the local government units to make the necessary arrangements with the vacant hotels and motels to accommodate COVID-19 patients. He noted that the government is prepared to assist the hotels in the decontamination of the rooms after being used by patients.

“They do not have to worry about an afterwards thing of itong hotel mo ma-contaminate. We will do the necessary protocol to decontaminate or to kill whatever there is in the room. Madali lang man ‘yan. Pagbigyan ninyo ‘yung mga kababayan natin (That’s easy. Just accommodate our countrymen),” he said.

In seeking the use of hotels as temporary medical facilities, Duterte explained that it could be “traumatic” for some person to be confined in a hospital while battling COVID-19. “To some people staying in the hospital is really a horror thing because iba hindi nga naospital sa buhay nila (have not been hospitalized ever in their lives),” he said.

Once a hotel and other similar establishment are chosen as medical facility, Duterte noted that these will be temporarily closed to the general public.

“It behooves upon the medical guys to let it be that way meaning na huwag na ninyong papasukan ng ibang (to prohibit the entry of) healthy persons. That inn or hotel remains to be a medical facility for those afflicted with COVID. It’s no longer available to the public,” he said.

The country’s cases of coronavirus have reached more than 441,000 as of December 7. The death toll totaled 8,572 while recoveries soared to 408,702.