Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Senator Richard Gordon expressed his gratitude to leaders of various schools and local government units (LGUs) who did not hesitate to extend a helping hand in the humanitarian organization’s pandemic response efforts.
“This is the first time from memory that all these schools helped simultaneously and this sends a very strong signal – that we should learn from the leaders of these schools,” Gordon said during the virtual event on April 21. “Leadership is not a position, it is action,” he added.
The event paved the way for the virtual signing of the memorandum of agreement between PRC and De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB) in Manila. PRC turned unused classrooms in the school into a 135-bed capacity isolation facility to serve asymptomatic patients from the city.
Gordon thanked De La Salle Philippines President Br. Armin Luistro, FSC for the partnership saying “he always remains a true friend and a brother who acts in the service of the fellowmen and moves quickly when it comes to matters that save lives.”
In times of pandemic, Gordon underscored the need for quick and unequivocal decisions. “We need to act fast. We need to make sure that problems are solved. We should be a country where the leader and people work together,” he added.
A week before, on April 14, PRC and various colleges and universities organized an online press conference to formally launch the partnerships for isolation centers.
Aside from DLS-CSB, PRC also tapped Ateneo De Manila University (AdMU), University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, and Adamson University (AdU) so that their unused classrooms can be utilized by making temporary isolation facilities for asymptomatic patients.
Gordon said that the project stemmed from the need to augment the shortage brought about by the surge of COVID-19 cases these past few weeks. Aside from Lusitro, the virtual event was also attended by Ateneo President Fr. Bobby Yap, UP President Danilo Concepcion, and Adamson University President Fr. Marcelo Manimtim.
Gordon said because of the willingness of the leaders of schools and LGUs, the country’s fight against COVID-19 will be further strengthened. By isolating the asymptomatic patients, the chances of them spreading the disease further will be lesser.
“Ang bawat pasyente ay bibigyan ng ‘quarantine kit,” may araw-araw na supply ng pagkain, at may access sa telemedicine kung kailanganin nilang makausap ang ating mga doctor (Each patient will be given a quarantine kit, a daily supply of food, and access to Telemedicine if they need to talk to our doctors),” Gordon said. “Tayo ay mayroong nurses sa pasilidad upang masigurong may magmomonitor sa kanila (We have nurses at the facility to make sure someone monitors them),” he added.
Gordon noted that in the isolation facilities set up in various schools under the jurisdiction of the different LGUs, the PRC will provide ambulances to transport patients to these facilities; set-up isolation beds; provide supplementary hot meals; set up shower rooms for their daily hygiene needs; ensure daily monitoring of their condition; and provide ambulance to transport to hospitals patients who, while in isolation, develop moderate to severe symptoms.
“As we open our isolation facilities, we are not fixing the blame – we are fixing the problem…the salvation of the country depends on each and every one of us,” Gordon ended.