“PAG di ka nag-face mask, tolongges ka.”
Thus said Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, as he and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna inaugurated the 13th quarantine facility of the city at the MLQU in Quiapo, located in the third district.
During the said occasion, Moreno branded as ‘tolongges’ or morons those who choose not to wear face masks “dahil naghahanap ka ng sakit ng katawan,” stressing everyone should have known by now that COVID-19 is deadly.
While the city indeed has a good recovery rate among its COVID patients, Moreno said it cannot be denied that there are also deaths.
“Kung marami ang recovery, sa kabilang dako ay meron ding mga namamatay, kaya me panganib. Kaya tolongges ka kung feeling mo hindi ka magkakasakit,” the mayor stressed.
Moreno thanked President Rodrigo Duterte, deputy chief implementer of the administration’s policy against COVID-19 Secretary Vince Dizon, Public Works and Highways Sec. Mark Villar, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Vice Mayor Lacuna and Manila Health Department head Dr. Arnold Pangan for helping the city government come up with its newest quarantine facility, which has a 60-bed capacity and which will be used for asymptomatic patients.
The mayor meanwhile said all the efforts of the city in battling COVID-19, such as the establishment of quarantine facilities, will be useless if the residents will be reckless and downplay the effects of the coronavirus.
“Tandaan nyo ang sinasabi ng matatanda, nasa huli ang pagsisisi,” said Moreno, as he reiterated calls for residents to follow minimum health standards like wearing of face masks, frequent hand washing and proper physical distancing.
“Lahat ‘yan ay mababale-wala pag tayo ay namamatayan at nagpapabaya sa sarili. Mabubulunan ang mga pasilidad… ayoko na isang araw ay nasa labas kayo ng ospital kasi puno na mga ospital. Nakapakasaklap,” Moreno stressed.
The people and their behaviour, he said, is still the key to the success of any local government-initiated efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“Pag ang tao nagpabaya, me kalalagyan tayo. Habang me tiyak na paggaling, me tiyak na kamatayan. Pag wala kang mask, pagsokpa mo sa ospital dalawang bagay lang ang pwede mangyari sa ‘yo… lumabas kang buo o lumabas kang abo,” Moreno emphasized.
Moreno also announced having hired some 1,000 additional medical workers since the pandemic began while Vice Mayor Lacuna announced that the city council she heads as its presiding officer has already approved an ordinance allotting P200 million for the purchase of vaccines against COVID, once they become available.