MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday told local government officials to assign hotels and inns in their respective areas that may be used as quarantine facilities.
In his weekly public address, Duterte said there is currently a dearth in quarantine facilities, especially for people who are still waiting for the results of their swab tests, or for those who are asymptomatic and do not need to be hospitalized.
"There's a dearth of space for people who are suspected of having the virus. Ang problema nito is ganito. Ikaw naman kung dalhin ka doon sa ospital, it's kind of a morbid thing for anyone, really, it could be traumatic for a guy na pag-swab, dalhin ka doon sa, you are whisked to the hospital, and you stay there," he said.
(There's a dearth of space for people who are suspected of having the virus. It's also a problem for those who are uncomfortable with the idea of being brought to a hospital. It's kind of a morbid thing for anyone, really, it could be traumatic for those who underwent a swab test, then they are brought, whisked to the hospital, and you stay there.)
"So I leave it to the city government, and we will talk about it later, itong mga hotel na bakante, tutal pagkatapos niyan we can always decontaminate the rooms. We will do it for you," Duterte added.
(So I leave it to the city government, and we will talk about it later, these vacant hotels, after all we can always decontaminate the rooms. We will do it for you.)
Duterte also appealed to owners of hotels, inns, and even motels to cooperate with the government and offer the establishments to be used as quarantine facilities, as he assured them of getting paid on time.
"And to the owners of hotels, inns, motels, maybe kung wala nang iba (maybe when there's no other place available), to accommodate the Filipinos who are in need of help. I will assume the full responsibility of paying you pagdating ng panahon (when the time comes). I will see to it, I will ask Congress, I will plead sa kanila na hanapan ng paraan, bayaran kayo (I will plead to them to look for a way to pay you). I will personally see to it that you are paid on time," he said.
This is not the first time that hotels have been used as quarantine facilities.
During the early days of the pandemic, several hotels in Metro Manila were tapped as quarantine facilities for returning overseas Filipinos, which led to millions of pesos in debt to hotel owners.
As of Monday, the country had 441,399 total COVID-19 cases, of which 24,125 were considered active infections, 408,702 were recoveries, while the death toll stood at 8,572.