Cut it out: Binay hits ribbon-cutting rites, photo ops at COVID-19 facilities

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday criticized the conduct of ribbon-cutting ceremonies and other niceties that come with the opening of new health facilities, emphasizing the urgency of the COVID-19 response.

“Pakiusap kung pwede buksan na lang para magamit agad. Sayang lang ang oras sa ribbon cutting at photo ops,” Binay said in a tweet.

(Just a request, maybe we can just open the facilities so they can be used immediately. Time is just being wasted on ribbon-cutting and photo ops.)

Binay’s remarks followed a ribbon-cutting rite earlier Tuesday for the Quezon Institute Offsite Modular Hospital that was attended by long-time Duterte aide Senator Bong Go, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. Of course, the ceremony comes with plenty of photo opportunities of the Duterte allies.

According to Binay, this event would “leave a bad taste” in the mouth of COVID-positive patients and their families as they face an uphill battle to secure rooms in congested hospitals.

“These things are unnecessary & leave a bad taste for families of Covid patients who are racing against life & time,” she said.

The Quezon Institute Offsite Modular Hospital is expected to provide additional 110 beds for COVID-19 patients.

Many hospitals in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna – or “NCR Plus Bubble” which is under an enhanced community quarantine – have been reporting difficulty in accommodating the rush of new coronavirus cases.

From late March up to the recent days, social media has been teeming with stories of how families have been struggling to get hospital rooms for COVID-19 patients as healthcare facilities have breached their respective accommodation capacity due to the surge of infections.

Vice President Leni Robredo even questioned whether the Department of Health (DOH) data on bed occupancy across Metro Manila hospitals is accurate, as her office received reports since early this month that patients and families were already being led to hospitals as far as Nueva Ecija and Southern Luzon.

The Philippines is currently grappling with a COVID-19 surge attributed to new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern – which has badly affected health institutions. As of April 6, the country logged a record-high 382 newly-reported deaths, boosting total fatalities from COVID-19 to 13,817.

Active cases likewise continued to increase – now at 152,562 – as the nationwide case count hit 812,760.

During this continuous surge, the Philippines is not feeling of who is in-charge from the Duterte Administration. Wherein Php10.41 Trillion loans has been made and it is nowhere to be found.

Reporting by Patricia Elise Monsod/AdChoiceTV News (Manila)

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