BARANGAY 18 in Bacolod City, which is located in front of Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), is doing an extra mile not only to its residents but also to non-residents of the village, especially the stranded caretakers and watchers of sick individuals confined at the regional hospital who were not allowed to stay inside the hospital.
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the city badly, the hospital has barred entry of caretakers and watchers to occupy spaces inside its premises as a measure to prevent possible exposure to health risk due to Covid-19.
Since 2017, the CLMMRH has adopted a policy that deterred eating inside the hospital rooms or premises by watchers and caretakers. Now, it has expanded to "No caretaker policy" with the mushrooming of Covid-19 cases.
Barangay 18 Punong Barangay Madeline Diaz and his kagawads saw the need to extend food assistance and even canopies and beddings to individuals who
stay and sleep at the sidewalks in front of the CLMMRH.
"I saw how difficult it is to stay outside without protection from the rain or hot weather during daylight and more so from the deadly Covid-19 virus. Our barangay has its challenges also because we have been taking care of our own residents and renters who were tested positive of Covid-19. Lockdowns were imposed on parks and places which were identified to have Covid-19 positives. But by God's grace, we are able to take care of our own problems. Seeing these people staying hopeless just across our streets can be heartbreaking. Of course, I also understand the policy of the public hospital, but since we are closer to these people in terms of location, we opted to extend what we have to them in terms of their basic needs such as food and temporary refuge for them to stay and be safe," she said.
"Thank God that there were good Samaritans around who extended their help
too just to address this need because if these people will be exposed to infection, it might spread to Barangay 18 which is closer to their location. But we don't ask for it, that's why we have extended help to the best we can," she said.
There were 68 of them since September 22 and every day, the barangay, with the help of well-meaning individuals and organizations who were also affected by the pandemic, were able to feed and provide a temporary place for them to stay, she said.
"It really pains me especially when it rains or even on a sunny day. Their circumstance is heartbreaking but thank God, we were able to provide for them," she added.
Diaz also thanked those who helped them sustain the additional needs of these residents of the village.
"To those anonymous philanthropists and others, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts," she said.
She likewise thanked Covid-19 survivor Singcang Airport Punong Barangay Rosinnie Distrito who sent food and canopies for the hospital watchers.