OVP to provide free shuttle service for Cebu City frontliners

Maris Federez   •   July 6, 2020   •   1028

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Vice President (OVP) will be providing free shuttle service for frontliners and healthcare workers in Cebu City, a statement released on Sunday (July 5) said.

The statement read that the OVP Free Shuttle Service for Cebu health workers and frontliners will start Monday, July 6, as part of #BayanihanSugbuanon — the Vice President’s COVID-19 Response Operations in Cebu.

“Our pilot run will have initial three routes, with two trips each for morning and afternoon. Kindly refer to the individual cards for the full schedule for AM, AM reverse, PM, and PM reverse trips,” the statement further read.

“We are grateful to our partners, UBE Express, Seaoil, and Genergex Petroleum, whose support made this initiative possible,” it added.

The schedules and routes may be subject to adjustments, based on the needs that will be seen during the pilot run.  

Meanwhile, the OVP and its partners will also start opening free dormitories for Cebu frontliners.

The first dormitory is located at Brgy. Banilad, Cebu City, near the North General Hospital. 

The statement said that the dorm is open for health workers, medical practitioners, and other frontliners involved in offering essential services amid the COVID-19 crisis on a first come, first served basis. —/mbmf

Duterte honors COVID-19 frontline workers as PH marks Heroes day

Robie de Guzman   •   August 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte paid tribute to frontline workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the country marks National Heroes Day.

In a message, Duterte called the frontliners modern heroes who continue to answer the call to fight and bravely lead the country’s raging battle against the pandemic.

The new breed of heroes, he said, includes health workers, uniformed personnel, government employees, and frontliners in essential industries.

“Their names will not be etched on any edifice, statues will not be erected in their honor, banknotes will not be graced by their portraits, and their individual exploits will not be immortalized on the pages of history books,” he said.

“Yet, for selflessly risking their lives to ensure the survival of our society, I can confidently say they have more than earned their rightful place in the pedestal of heroes,” he added.

He urged the public to “consecrate this day not just as a memorial to their extraordinary heroism, but as an enduring testament to our inherent capacity to rise above self-interest to fight for a cause far greater than our own.”

Earlier in the day, the president attended the commemoration of National Heroes Day in Taguig City where he also paid tribute to the sacrifices of those who fought for the country’s freedom and democracy.

Robredo: COVID-19 pandemic should be gov’t’s main focus

UNTV News   •   July 27, 2021

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines — After President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday (July 26), Vice President Leni Robredo, delivered her own report dubbed as “Ulat ni VP Leni.”

“Tapos na ang SONA ng Pangulo. Nakarinig tayo ng talaan ng mga numero at mga proyekto. Sa kabila nito, may inasahan sana tayong madiinan na hindi nadiinan,” Robredo said in live broadcast on her Facebook account on Tuesday (July 27).

“Ang totoo: Pilipino ang tumulong sa kapwa Pilipino; Pilipino ang sumalo sa kapwa Pilipino; nakaraos lang tayo sa nakaraang isa’t kalahating taon dahil sa lakas na ibinigay natin sa isa’t isa. Humaharap po ako sa inyo ngayon para idiin: Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo,” the vice president said implying that the administration could not get any credit for what the Filipino people have achieved.

Robredo enumerated the accomplishments of her office such as the OVP’s online donation drive for the needs of the frontliners such as PPE’s, shuttle services and temporary shelters; the establishment of Bayanihan e-Skwela which involved volunteer tutors in Community Learning Hubs in cooperation with the local government units; the launch of sikap.ph, a jobs-matching platform for blue collar workers, and iskaparate.com, which brought small businesses online – among others.

She commended the efforts of those who have been willing to assist in their programs for the people.

“The OVP does not have a large budget; unlike other agencies, we don’t have an expansive political machinery. Our budget is trust; our machinery, a people willing to give of themselves. Can you imagine what more we could have accomplished if everything, including decisions and policies of the government, was oriented towards this same bayanihan spirit?” she said.

Robredo said they are in constant consultation with experts who provided a number of recommendations which she claimed “things implementable only by the national government, and that we ask to be acted upon as soon as possible.”

Among these recommendations include:

A faster and integrated system for testing, tracing, and treatment, primarily a solid database.
Direct delivery of vaccines to our people and their communities.
Reviewing revenues from the Sin Tax, for allocation towards pandemic needs.
Paying off PhilHealth’s debts to hospitals to ensure their continued operations. Properly and sufficiently enforcing Universal Healthcare.
Passing Bayanihan 3, and ensuring the funds from this law are used so that no one starves or loses their home.
Lending to small businesses.
Offering aid to those who lost their jobs, and giving them extensive retraining opportunities to help them keep up with the evolving landscape of industries.
Allocating more funds towards raising the quality of education.

Robredo said details of the above policy recommendations will be posted on her Facebook page.

“Pero bukod sa paglalatag ng mga polisiya, alam din nating may isa pang napakahalagang tungkulin ang gobyerno: Ang itutok tayo sa iisang direksyon; ang ipaalala sa atin na anuman ang mga di-pagkakasundo, iisang bayan tayo. Tungkulin ng gobyerno, lalo na sa panahon ng krisis, na magpunla ng pagkakaisa,” the vice president said.

“Kaya nga patuloy ang pagdidiin natin: Walang ibang dapat tutukan sa mga panahong ito kundi ang pandemya at ang kanyang mga epekto. All hands on deck, laser like focus ang kailangan. Ito dapat ang isalamin ng budget, ng agenda ng bawat meeting ng pamahalaan, ng bawat memo na ibababa sa buong burukrasya,” she said.

At least 115,000 health workers have died from COVID-19 says WHO

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 25, 2021

At least 115,000 health workers have died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In his speech, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged the sacrifices and heroism of health workers across the globe and considered them as soldiers fighting against the pandemic.

He added that for almost 18 months, health workers continued to go above and beyond to serve patients despite the modest resources available. 

“Health and care workers do heroic things, but they are not superheroes. They are humans like the rest of us. They sweat and swear; they laugh and cry; they fear and hope,” he said.

“Many feel frustrated, helpless and unprotected, with a lack of access to personal protective equipment and vaccines, and the tools to save lives,” he added.

In line with this, the WHO has made the year 2021 as the year of the WHO Workforce. It will also open a digital learning platform to strengthen the health workforce globally. The global testing for the WHO Academy will begin next week.

“The Academy’s digital learning platform has been built and will begin global testing next week. The first batch of learning programmes are in the final stages of production, translation and testing and will be rolled out by September,” Ghebreyesus said. AAC

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