MMDA exec Garcia says One Hospital Command boss doing a ‘good’ job

Published April 8, 2021, 11:40 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia defended the One Hospital Command (OHC) on Thursday, April 8 from criticisms that it has become “unresponsive” during the current surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

(Photo screengrab from Zoom)

“This is not the right time to put blame on others. We need to help each other,” Garcia said in a virtual news forum hosted by the Department of Health (DOH).

“Si [DOH] Usec. Bong Vega ang may hawak ng One Hospital Command and I think he’s really doing good. Why? Ngayon kasi napuno eh. Before this surge nasa 60, 70, or 50 calls lang per day yan. Umabot ng more than 300 (Usec. Bong Vega is the one managing One Hospital Command and I think he’s really doing good. Why? It’s been fully loaded with calls. Before this surge there were only 60, 70, or 50 calls per day. It has reached over 300),” he said.

“Kahit gaano kaganda sistema mo, napuno ka ng tawag, mahihirapan talaga sila dyan. Pero I think Usec. Bong already fixed itong mga challenges na ito (Even if you have a good system, once you get full with calls you’ll encounter difficulties. But I think Usec. Bong has already fixed these challenges),” Garcia noted.

A joint endeavor between the DOH, MMDA, and several other agencies and private entities, OHC is a health facility referral system that caters to Metro Manila residents. It was launched last year amid the persisting COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nagprovide lang kami ng lugar para ma-centralize ang mga tawag na yan (We just provided a place to centralize those calls) Garcia said of MMDA’s role in OHC.

“Pero I can assure everyone inaayos yan. Talagang nabubulunan na rin. Hindi lang ospital nabubulunan, pati yung ating mga command centers (But I can assure everyone that it’s being fixed. It’s just that it’s getting choked with calls. Not only hospitals are getting choked, but also our command centers),” he said.

According to Garcia, the Metro Manila local government units’ (LGUs) supposed hotlines for COVID-19 response have encountered complaints similar to OHC.

“Yun din ang ibang reklamo, walang sumasagot or hindi na makontak (There have been similar complaints, either nobody is picking up or it can’t be contacted at all),” he said.

“Pina-update na natin sa mga LGUs yung contact numbers nila para at least eh matugunan natin yung mga tawag ng ating kababayan. Inaayos natin yan (We’ve already told the LGUs to update their contact numbers so that they could at least respond to people’s calls. We’re fixing it),” he added.