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Cebu City dad wants aid for medical frontliners in the city

By: Delta Derycka C. Letigio - CDN Digital | June 18,2020 - 12:51 PM

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Joel Garaganera is asking the city’s executive department to support the medical frontliners risking their lives amidst the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Garganera said that the medical frontliners manning the public and private hospitals and the city’s quarantine centers are exposed daily to the dangers of the virus as they take care of infected patients.

“For every medical professional could be no less than 100 patients. This pandemic is a public health crisis. Which means that our medical professionals are our last line of defense. And despite the risks that they are facing, they do their best to remain sturdy like an iron wall,” said the councilor.

The councilor said even the medical frontliners are not exempted from the risk of the COVID-19 as shown in Department of Health figures that over 2,000 frontliners have been infected by the virus.

This increasing number of infected medical front-liners has caused a shortage of staff in many hospitals and quarantine or isolation centers.

“But every day, a number of front lines are getting infected with the virus. Worse, some have already led to deaths. And it makes me wonder– what have we done for them? In this pandemic, there should have been no distinction between the public and private sectors. Coordination is vital in our survival.

“So for our frontliners, especially in the medical field, who, despite their own fears, would go to the battlefield head-on, I want this City to equip them with the necessary protection,” said Garganera.

The councilor has requested that the city government to extend assistance to both public and private hospitals by providing the medical frontliners with protective equipment, gloves, masks, test kits, and if possible, ventilators.

He also urged the City Budget Office to study the possibility of extending financial assistance to resident frontliners and frontliners extending services within the city, who have contracted COVID19 and for the families of frontliners who died due to COVID19, as well as hazard pay for those who are still in service.

The City Council recently passed P1.9 billion supplemental budget, which includes P355 million hazard pay for city employees and barangay workers, but does not include medical frontliners in hospitals not managed by the city.

Garganera hopes that the city can allocate funds for all medical frontliners working in the city whether they are resident or not to help them survive the pandemic as well.

“That’s the least we could do,” said the councilor. /bmjo

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