Villanueva seeks 'clear plan' from DOH to manage overwhelmed healthcare system in Metro Manila

Senator Joel Villanueva (PIA file photo)

CALOOCAN CITY, April 5 (PIA) -- Senator Joel Villanueva has sought from the Department of Health (DOH) its "clear plan" to manage the stress in Metro Manila's healthcare system as hospitals around the capital contend with overflow capacity and overstretched manpower.

Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, said the government's crisis managers should consider regrouping and have a "level-headed" assessment of its existing approaches by calling in hospital bringing in more experts to the discussion table to map out a more effective response.

"Isang taon na pong tayong nasa kalbaryo na dulot ng iba't ibang antas ng lockdown. Buhay at kabuhayan ng lahat ang direktang tinamaan ng polisiyang ito. Malalagay lamang sa wala ang lahat ng sakripisyo natin kung hindi pa rin malinaw ang plano ng Department of Health upang kontrolin ang pagkalat ng COVID," Villanueva said in a statement.

"Our unsolicited and respectful suggestion is for the President to get unfiltered reports from those on the frontlines, from hospital directors who can give him the true picture at the ground. To his credit, the President likes to mingle with the boots on the ground. But now is the time for him to hear stories of those who are in the different, but more dangerous trenches," he said.

"Malaking tulong po sa kampanya laban sa pandemya kung ang makakausap naman niya ay yung parating nakasuot ng PPE at hindi yung nag-uulat sa pamamagitan ng PPT o Powerpoint," he continued.

Villanueva emphasized the importance of ensuring the availability of isolation facilities where mild and asymptomatic patients could be brought to and be given adequate care, instead of them going to hospitals and medical facilities, which should be dedicated for severe and critical patients.

He also sought an update on the DOH's emergency hiring plan for healthcare workers, reiterating that these should already have better contract terms now. In its launch last year, Villanueva had urged the DOH to consider extending the duration of the employment contract, which initially lasted three months.

Villanueva said that people could not be blamed for the "lockdown fatigue" being experienced by many, since workers have to go about their daily grind, and earn a living to provide for their families.

"Habang pinagbabawalan natin lumabas ang karamihan sa ating mga kababayan, dapat pong sapat ang tulong o ayuda ang ipinapaabot ng ating gobyerno. Napakapayak ang rason kung bakit lumalabas ang ating mga manggagawa sa kanilang mga tahanan: No work, no pay," Villanueva said. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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