THE City Government of Bacolod is establishing a temporary shelter for individuals who have patients at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) in the city.

Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairperson of the city council committee on laws, said yesterday, August 17, the temporary shelter is being constructed at Barangay 18 and can accommodate about 30 individuals or watchers of the hospital patients.

"The construction is still ongoing including the painting and putting up of comfort room. It will open soon," he said, adding that it's the initiative of Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez.

The mayor is using his personal funds to help those who are lining up outside the hospital and it’s for free, the official said.

Espino noted that they will also put up beds for the watchers.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the management of CLMMRH disallowed the caregivers and watchers of the patients inside the hospital.

Most of them stayed and slept outside the hospital grounds while waiting for the medical updates of their patients.

Espino said the city's temporary shelter is separate from the shelter provided by Negros Occidental Fifth District Congressman Dino Yulo for non-Bacolod residents.

"We will prioritize the Bacolodnons who have patients at the CLMMRH,” Espino said, adding that he also talked with Yulo that they should help each other to accommodate all the watchers staying outside the hospital.

Executive Assistant Leo Bentinganan said Benitez prioritized this project so that the watchers or caregivers will have a place to stay while waiting for an update about their patients.

"Most of them were sleeping on the sidewalk so that they could respond immediately once the doctors or security guards called their names to buy medicines for their patients," Bentinganan said.

For now, he added, the hospital already recorded the cellular phone numbers of the watchers so while they are waiting for the text message from the doctors or security guards, they can stay at the temporary shelter.*