Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles over the weekend lauded private sector efforts to help the government in its efforts to treat and isolate Filipinos who are confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

While lamenting the fact that the IATF had received reports of discrimination against those that had tested positive for COVID-19, Nograles said that the government is “encouraged by the fact that these acts of discrimination are the exception, not the rule––and that most of our kababayan stand ready to help in our time of need.”

“There are generous souls that have opened their doors.”

Nograles cited the example of the free use of the entire Ciudad de Victoria estate in Bocaue, Bulacan, housing the Philippine Arena, the Philippine Sports Stadium and The Garden Suites, which was offered and volunteered by the church group Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) as a ‘mega medical facility’ in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

“We received more positive news when we learned that our brothers in the Iglesia ni Cristo had agreed to let the government use the whole Ciudad de Victoria estate––not just the Philippine Arena itself––to isolate and quarantine COVID-19 cases. So kasama po dito ang Philippine Arena, ang Philippine Sports Stadium at ang The Garden Suites,” shared Nograles.

“There will be facilities not just for patients but for our frontliners. Once everything is readied, the whole complex will have an estimated 1,065 rooms for patients, while frontliners will be able to share 476 suites good for two to four health workers each. Maraming salamat, Ka Eduardo Manalo.”

In a statement, INC General Auditor Gicerio Santos Jr. said that they were instructed by INC Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo to be “all out” in its aid and assistance efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.”

“Handa kaming tumulong. In this critical time we all need to work together to beat this virus. We are all affected, so we must all act,” said the INC official.

Aside from the INC, Nograles mentioned that transport company 2GO is planning to set up a floating hospital capable of serving 1,500 patients, as well as a smaller ship that can handle 300 more. Its shipping terminal can easily serve another thousand patients, bringing the total capacity to 2,800 people.

“We are all in this together.”

“While there are establishments that have rejected our frontliners, there are generous souls that have opened their doors to our doctors and nurses. The Oriental Hotel chain, with branches in Legazpi, Mariveles, and Leyte are opening up their hotel and offering close to 300 rooms for our health workers,” said the former lawmaker from Davao.

According to Nograles, “another hotel, Villa Amada in Legazpi, is offering 20 rooms, while five hotels in Naga are offering a total of 111 rooms for our frontliners. Dios mabalos po sa indo gabos!”

“Mga kababayan, lagi naming sinasabi: we are all in this together, sama-sama po tayo dito. Hindi po ito panahon para talikuran ang kapwa nating Pilipino––ito ay panahon para magmalasakit, magtulungan, at magkaisa.”

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