Motel, church offering free rooms for health workers in Cebu City

GOOD news for medical frontliners working in Cebu City but living in Cebu Province.

The Cebu City Government is accepting applications for those who want to avail themselves of free accommodation.

Three accommodation establishments have offered to house these medical frontliners while they combat the scourge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

John Jigo Dacua, head of the City’s Department of Public Services (DPS), said interested health and medical workers can approach the City Administrator’s Office at City Hall to avail themselves of this program.

“They should apply for the free accommodation at City Hall. They should personally visit. All they need is to bring their PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) identification card and endorsement from the hospital where they work,” Dacua told SunStar Cebu.

He said the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) is closely coordinating with his office so its personnel could be housed for free.

He said he is waiting for other hospitals to approach his office.

A motel has offered 70 rooms to house medical frontliners, while a hotel is offering 25 rooms that can accommodate 50 persons. Both establishments are located along Gen. Maxilom Ave.

The Bradford Church is also offering 15 rooms that can occupy eight persons per room, or a total of 120 persons, Dacua added.

Dacua assured that the partner establishments have been briefed and had undergone training on proper sanitation and disinfection.

While some Good Samaritans are going out of their way to help medical frontliners, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu chapter has denounced some individuals and home associations for prohibiting doctors and nurses from entering their subdivisions for fear of spreading the coronavirus.

In a statement, IBP Cebu chapter members committed to protect medical frontliners from discrimination through legal means necessary.

“In these extraordinary times of this novel virus, let us not allow our fears to rob us of our humanity. We suppose that precautions are being taken by these frontliners to ensure that they do not become carriers of this viral disease. After all, it is their lives and the lives of their family members which are at stake. We should find ways to support our frontliners and not to shun them, to defend and not to discriminate,” the IBP’s statement said. Aside from the IBP, the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7) is conducting an investigation following a complaint of harassment and attack against a nurse, who works in an uptown hospital.

Around 8:45 P.M. on Friday, March 27, a nurse was walking home when she was doused with chlorine by unidentified men on board a motorcycle on Tres de Abril St. in Cebu City.

A concerned doctor took to social media to share what happened to the nurse, who happens to be her colleague.

She also appealed to the public: “People, please do not terrorize our health workers. The Covid-19 is scary enough, no need for additional acts of abuse and vandalism. My nurses are not the virus, they are the warriors in fighting and helping our patients (stay) alive. They have personal protection equipment when in the hospital and change from their uniforms to prevent the spread (of the virus). I repeat, we are not enemies. Please stop the abuse.”

PRO 7 Director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro has asked the Regional Intelligence Unit and the Cebu City Police Office to identify the culprits.

“I have tasked the city director of Cebu and our intelligence unit here in the whole region to find out who are these bastard to answer for their wrongdoing”, he said.

Ferro said they will do anything to protect health workers, whom he considers as modern heroes.

He encouraged health workers in the region who experienced discrimination to report to the nearest police station so they could file charges against those responsible after he received reports of health professionals who were refused entry to their apartments or declined jeepney rides.

“We will ask not to renew the permit of these people who own these rental houses. I will ask that these owners be answerable for the discrimination, including homeowners who are trying to discriminate against our modern heroes — health workers,” the police official said.

He said health workers should be given special or VIP (very important person) treatment, adding that they should be appreciated for risking their lives in the fight against Covid-19.

Because of this, health professionals have a special lane at checkpoint that are exclusive to them so they won’t be late for duty, Ferro said. (JCT /JKV / AYB / MMC)


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