MANILA—Vice-President Leni Robredo said her office's telemedicine service, Bayanihan E-Konsulta, has been receiving a lot of requests for help amid the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country.
"This particular surge, hirap na hirap kami kasi ’yung onslaught ng mga patients wanting to be covered by the program, sobrang dami," she told ANC's "Rundown."
"And we needed to manage everything kasi ang pinaka-ayaw namin is meron kaming na-register na patient, pero hindi namin sila nabalikan soonest possible time. By managing everything, sabi namin we will put a cap. Four hundred patients a day only."
" ’Yung first day, I think January 3, ’yun ’yung first day na grabe ’yung surge, naka-400 kami after 3 hours and 30 minutes. And then the following day, it was just over an hour. Siguro 2 days na over an hour.
"Alam mo since then until yesterday (Wednesday), ’yung today di ko pa nakikita, we closed after 9 minutes. We open at 8 o’clock and at 8:09 we had 400 patients already, ganu’n siya kagrabe."
Robredo said her office made sure last year that their budget was responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When the pandemic started last year, we already made sure that our budget, the budget of the OVP, is already a COVID budget. Meaning to say, all the non-essential things — ’pag sinabi ko non-essential, non-COVID-related — we won’t focus on them anymore muna," she said.
Robredo also noted that they are able to fund their projects, such as the COVID-19 home care kits and swab cabs, through donations from various sectors.
"Halimbawa, ’yung COVID care kits, a large part of that is funded by the Office of the Vice President. Halimbawa, ’yung mga Swab Cab. ’Yung mga binibili namin na mga testing kits, while we also receive donations pero a large part of that is coming from the Office of the Vice President," she said.
"Gusto kong sabihin, we are very mindful that we’re in the middle of the crisis and we make sure that our budget is responsive to the crisis that we’re going through."