Senator Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his sincere gratitude to the first 50 Visayan medical frontliners from the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City and the Department of Health in Central Visayas who flew to Metro Manila to augment the the need for medical practiotioners in the National Capital Region.
A ceremonial send-off for the frontliners—composed of 11 doctors, 35 nurses, and four medical technologists—was held at the Montebello Villa Hotel in Cebu City on Wednesday, April 8, before their departure.
They were provided with allowance and incentives from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas and both the provincial and city government of Cebu.
The volunteer nurses and frontliners will also receive an additional 20% premium on their basic salary for emergency hiring, based on Bayanihan 2 funds. The receiving hospitals will take care of their food, accommodation, and transportation after arriving in Metro Manila. Their transfer to NCR as well as necessary Covid-19 testing will be shouldered by the DOH.
The positive response from the Visayas extends beyond human resources. Medical supplies, including life-saving medicines and high-flow nasal cannulas, are also being donated from the Visayas to Metro Manila. A convalescent plasma blood drive is also set to launch to augment the increasing needs in NCR.
Go explained that, at present, hospitals in the NCR Plus areas, as well as medical frontliners are overburdened because of the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases. This prompted him to call on other regions to help augment medical frontliners in these critical areas in the spirit of bayanihan.
“Patunay po ito na sa kabila ng pandemya, malakas pa rin po ang diwa ng bayanihan. May around 100 nurses po ang willing ma-deploy from Visayas. I appeal to health workers in other parts of the country to extend help to other critical areas,” he continued. “Kailangan natin magmalasakit sa ating kapwa Pilipino.”
Go continues to emphasize that a whole-of-nation approach is needed to fully overcome the pandemic. “I am sure that, with everybody’s cooperation and support, we will be triumphant in winning against this pandemic,” Go said.
One of the doctors, Dr. Jken Basilla, expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte and Go for this initiative which gives medical frontliners throughout the country the opportunity to assist in the fight against Covid-19 in critical areas, such as Metro Manila.
“I’d like to thank also Senator Bong Go for this initiative to help the different places now, like NCR Plus. For us, it’s an honor,” he added.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, likewise, thanked Go for spearheading this project and the Visayan frontliners for their bravery in the face of the pandemic.
OPAV Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino also commended the Senator for his leadership. He expressed how proud he is of the Visayan medical frontliners and volunteers, assuring them that their concerns will be addressed by the government in the course of their work.
Ending his message, Go assured all the frontliners that the government is always open to listen to their concerns and respond to their needs. He encouraged every Filipino to always embody the spirit of bayanihan and show compassion to one another given the uncertainties brought by the pandemic.
“Hindi po ito panahon ng sisihan kundi panahon po ito ng pagtutulungan,” he added