His harrowing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) experience finally behind him, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny D. Antiporda is now on a quest to save as many lives as possible from the dreaded ailment.
Foremost on his thoughts are the senior citizen employees of the DENR, since it’s widely known that elders are the most vulnerable sector of the population as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
“Alam ko nabubugnot na kayo dahil hindi kayo makalabas ng bahay. Ngunit mas mahirap pag nagka-COVID ka kasi pakiramdam mo araw-araw parang unti-unting hinihila ang mga paa mo sa hukay (I know you’re getting irritable because you can’t leave the house. But being infected with COVID is more difficult because you will feel everyday that you’re slowly being pulled toward your grave),” Antiporda told senior last Friday, April 30–his first “working day” in over a month.
Antiporda finally tested negative for the new coronavirus a day earlier, April 29. He first tested positive for the disease back on March 22 and had been on home-based medical treatment for weeks.
He took to Facebook several times to share details of his ordeal, from the sheer difficulty in breathing that he experienced to his wife also contracting COVID-19.
The DENR-Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service (SCIS) observed Arbor Day on April 30 with a webinar titled, “Arbor Day Thriving Gracefully”, wherein the participants were informed about the sources of in-house pollution and the ways to prevent and/ or mitigate them.
Antiporda, the supervising undersecretary for SCIS, made his appeal to the agency’s seniors citizens to stay home during the online event.
He also serves as the undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGU Concerns and alternate chairman of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).
The DENR official had tried to keep himself preoccupied even if he was still on his sickbed. Last April 24, Antiporda joined an online discussion on the importance of waste segregation at-source during The Filipinos World program over RPN Radio.
He also tackled other solid waste management issues such as the closure of illegal dumpsites, distribution of shredder machines to local government units, and the notion of extended producers’ responsibility in dealing with waste.