The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) aims to make all the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) isolation centers that were put up in various schools operational by the end of this week.
PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard Gordon, in a virtual press conference via Zoom on Wednesday, April 14, said that with the help of their partners, the isolation facilities in various schools in Metro Manila are expected to become operational this week “to prevent asymptomatic spreaders from infecting their loved ones at home.”
“We will make them all operational,” Gordon said – noting that all their partners are coordinating for the essentials which include medicines and food – among others. “We have to ensure the sanitation and health of the people so whatever we will have to do, we will do it,” he added.
Prior to the press conference, SM Supermalls formally turned over to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) donations to be used for the isolation facilities in the different colleges and universities.
Currently, PRC utilizes unused classrooms in Ateneo De Manila University (AdMU), University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB), and Adamson University (AdU) to serve as temporary isolation facilities and augment the shortage brought about by the surge of COVID-19 cases these past few weeks.
After reaching out to SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, PRC received donations to be used in the different isolation facilities set-up by the humanitarian organization including 1,900 Uratex mattresses, 500 pillows, and 195 linens.
The virtual turnover of the donation was also attended by SM Foundation Chair Debbie Sy, Ateneo President Fr. Bobby Yap, UP President Danilo Concepcion, President of De La Salle Philippines Br. Armin Luistro, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde Br. Edmundo Fernandez, and Adamson University President Fr. Marcelo Manimtim.
Gordon commended the SM Supermalls under Tan’s leadership for the donation to PRC. “It is indeed part of your corporate social responsibility to help those people who need it the most,” he said.
He also thanked the presidents of the higher education institutions (HEIs) for volunteering and offering their facilities to be used as COVID-19 isolation sites. “We are all together in this fight against COVID-19,” he added.
Meanwhile, the presidents of the HEIs also thanked Gordon and PRC for this humanitarian initiative.
In particular, Luistro commended Gordon for being a “catalyst that brought us all together.”
Yap, on the other hand, noted that Ateneo offered its facilities because nobody uses the classrooms since classes for students are held online. “We’re happy that somebody is leading this and we’re also happy to be a part of this,” he added. He shared that patients who have been referred “started arriving and we have started to accept them already.”
Manimtim also expressed gratitude to PRC for allowing Adamson to be part of this initiative. “We’re happy to extend our help and we’re able to coordinate those who are really responding to this great need,” he added.
Concepcion also noted that the recent partnership with PRC is also part of UP’s efforts to help in the fight against COVID-19. “We have existing isolation sites here and we’re also operating swab centers so we’re so happy to be part of this,” he added.