Couple, who owns one of the biggest taxi firms in Western Visayas, succumb to COVID-19 | Inquirer News
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Couple, who owns one of the biggest taxi firms in Western Visayas, succumb to COVID-19

/ 05:35 PM August 09, 2021

ILOILO CITY—The continuing COVID-19 surge in Western Visayas has struck one of the biggest taxi companies in the region.

Business leader Donna Rose Ratilla and her husband Garry, who own the GDR taxi fleet, died days apart in a hospital here after they tested positive for COVID-19.

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Garry died on July 29, while Donna Rose passed away on Aug. 8.

The GDR taxi fleet has more than 200 units.

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Donna Rose was former Iloilo president and Western Visayas governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

“We are saddened with their passing. She is a big loss to the business community because she had always advocated for and promoted the interest of small and medium-sized enterprises,” Mark Paul Inayan, former PCCI regional executive director and a close friend of the couple, said.

In separate statements, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and former mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog also expressed condolences to the families of the couple.

“The couple was very active in the programs of the City Government since the time of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog. They were well-known entrepreneurs who supported and helped fuel the growth of Iloilo City. May God grant them eternal rest,” Treñas said.

Mabilog said the couple through their taxi company provided jobs to many Ilonggos.

He expressed concern over the plight of the drivers with the passing of the Ratillas.

Iloilo City reported 243 COVID-19 deaths from Jan. 1 to Aug. 7 this year.

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Treñas, citing data from the city health office, said 93 percent or 226 of those who died were unvaccinated.

Western Visayas had 10,420 active COVID-19 cases as of Aug. 8, according to a Department of Health regional report. These include 427 new cases reported on Sunday.

Since March last year, 2,052 have died from the disease in the region.

The DOH Western Visayas reported a sharp increase in the average number of daily cases from 59 in February to 633 in June and 600 in July.

But it said there was a “slow decline” in the number of cases in the region from July 23 to Aug. 5.

It classified Antique as “high risk” while Aklan, Guimaras, and Iloilo City are considered “moderate risk” in terms of the number of cases.

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TAGS: Business, business leader, COVID-19, Donna Rose Ratilla, GDR taxi, Iloilo City, Regions, taxi company, Western Visayas
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