A STRONG appeal was made by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista to consider the demographics of every city and municipality in the distribution of assistance among local government units in connection with the coronavirus situation in the country, citing how dense Manila is.
This, as Moreno was assured by the Guangzhou city government of full assistance in the health front, beginning with the donation of millions worth of medical supplies consisting of 200,000 pieces of N95 face masks, 100,000 pieces of surgical face masks and 2,000 pieces of infrared thermometers.
The said bulk donation was coursed through the office of Secretary to the Mayor Bernie Ang and his consultants Ana Sy and Raj Kumar and were handed over to Moreno and Ang by the mayor/secretary of Guangzhou City, Wen Guohui.
It was learned from Ang that they are now working out the possibility of another donation in the form of PPEs or personal protective equipment which is also currently in short supply.
Also yesterday, Moreno received 540 goggles and 280 glasses from Mike Kumar, owner of the JSM Optical Supply at Padre Paterno in Quiapo, Manila who donated the items through Natasha Arevalo of the Philippine Airlines.
Meanwhile, Moreno welcomed the ‘Bayanihan Law’ which is expected to aid the LGUs in terms of financial assistance and in the mitigation or cushioning of the impact of the situation in the lives of all Filipinos.
Moreno said that Manila has a total of 896 barangays which equates to a total of 1.8 million mouths to feed during the crisis, or 350,000 families.
‘Partikular sa Maynila, ang kailangang-kailangan namin ngayon ay pagkain. While the city already appropriated millions for food, the home quarantine affects everything so kami as we go everyday, we have between 8,000 to 11,000 food packs produced at wala pang palya but with this, I hope the DSWD will particularly look into Manila. I’m not only appealing for my people. I’m just trying to be pragmatic and practical in identifying the demographics of Metro Manila,’he said.
Moreno also cited that in Manila, there are no subdivisions or gated communities and instead, most houses are small, accommodating three to four families each.
‘Our population is 44,000 per square kilometer or 111,000 per square mile… so makikita mo dense…sa ngayon, nakakaraos kami pero hindi ako komportable,’ he explained.
The mayor also announced that evacuation centers and public schools in Manila are now being spruced up, in case the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) spike, which he said, ‘we are praying hard won’t happen, in the Lord’s mercy and grace.’
As such, this would mean an additional 5,000 rooms for PUIs in addition to the Manila Infectious Disease Center which is now operating as a center for COVID-related patients at the Sta. Ana Hospital whose ten storeys, he said, can also be converted to cater exclusively to coronavirus cases if needed.