MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo said her office on Wednesday launched an online platform to provide medical assistance to residents in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces that are under the toughest lockdown level.
The Bayanihan E-konsulta Facebook page is accessible with free internet data and will coordinate medical consultation for people stricken with COVID-19 and other illnesses, said Robredo.
She said her office worked to set up the platform during Holy Week, after being “bombarded” with calls for help.
“Iyong gusto po naming i-target dito ay ‘yong mga pasyente na hindi maka-access sa mga existing platforms, either because walang pambayad sa doctor… o dahil wala silang data,” Robredo said in a Facebook Live video.
(We want to target patients who cannot access existing platforms, either because they cannot afford a doctor or because they have no data.)
Some 2,300 doctors, health workers and potential phone operators volunteered to help run the program, said the Vice President.
“Magpapasalamat tayo sa volunteers, hindi po natin ito magagawa kung hindi dahil sa kanila,” she said.
(We will thank the volunteers, we cannot do this without you.)
However, the platform has “limitations,” including the hospitalization of patients. The OVP has to follow protocols and coordinate with the One Hospital Command for admission to COVID-19 facilities, said Robredo.
Those who want to avail medical assistance should go to the Bayanihan E-konsulta page, click the Message button, type ang “KONSULTA” o “TULONG,” and wait for the Office of the Vice President to contact them, it said.
“Marami na kaming programang nai-roll out, pero palagay namin kulang na kulang, considering na ‘pag nagbukas ka ngayon ng social media, sabi nga ng iba, parang obituary, maraming namamatay,” Robredo said.
“Hindi puwedeng wala kaming gawin.”
(We have rolled out many programs, but we think it’s not enough, considering that when you open social media, as some say, it’s like an obituary, so many are dying. We cannot do nothing.)
A recent surge in infections has pushed the country's total COVID-19 cases to 812,760, of which 152,562 were active as of Tuesday.
Metro Manila and surrounding Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces are under enhanced community quarantine until April 11. ECQ bans mass gatherings and non-essential movement, while allowing only select industries to operate at full on-site capacity.
Video courtesy of "VP Leni Robredo" Facebook page