Projects aim to make COVID-19 frontliners feel appreciated for their sacrifices – Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo says the programs she initiated are aimed at providing for the needs of health care workers and other frontliners as a way of showing appreciation for the sacrifices they have been making in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just like anyone, if they feel that they are not being appreciated then they would lose interest in what they are doing,” Robredo said in Filipino in an interview with radio station RMN in Cebu.
“The shuttle services is just one way to lighten their load, the dormitories too. For example, inside dormitories and hospitals, we bring people who would trim their hair because the frontliners cannot attend to themselves because they are always working,” she added.
Recently, Robredo has taken the efforts of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) efforts to Cebu province, particularly in Cebu City, as the area was placed under an enhanced community quarantine due to rising COVID-19 cases, and the overwhelmed health facilities.
As in Metro Manila and other places, the OVP and its private sector partners are offering free shuttle services and free dormitories to frontliners. As of now, there are three routes for frontliners in Cebu and three dormitories — with one each in Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Talisay City.
Also, a ferry service between Lapu-Lapu City and Olango Island would also be available for frontliners starting Thursday.
Earlier, Robredo explained that the Cebu projects were only a reflection of what her office had done in Luzon, including Metro Manila, when it was still under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Though Congress passed the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act of 2020 (Republic Act No. 11469 ), which mandates financial assistance for health workers who would either contract or die from the disease, various groups have been asking the government to do more by providing personal protective equipment, mass testing, and higher salaries.
Robredo seconded these views, hoping that health workers would get the salary that they deserved — which would also prevent them from choosing to work abroad.
“The number one concern is their salaries… the benefits that are being given to frontliners. The reason why they leave to work abroad is because of better opportunities outside — opportunities fo r[better] salaries, benefits,” she said.
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