Written by: Rita Magallona
Healthcare professionals and workers providing essential services are at the front lines of the battle against the COVID-19 coronavirus. But given the limited transportation available for frontliners, they will need a place to stay near their workplaces.
In Metro Manila, the early days of the enhanced community quarantine saw frontline workers walking several kilometers just to get to work. The government and private sector quickly set up several initiatives to house frontline workers as they give their all to treat those infected by the coronavirus and contain the spread of the pandemic.
OVP Frontline Dormitories
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) Leni Robredo has partnered with private citizens, organizations, and companies to set up dormitories that frontline workers can stay in for free. As of April 14, 2020, the OVP has set up ten such dorms, with the latest opening in Paco, Manila, near the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Manila Doctors Hospital, and ManilaMed.
If you are a frontline worker who needs a place to stay, you can contact the OVP’s contact number at 0998-5917408 or email the office at [email protected] Accommodations at these dorms are on a first come, first served basis.
Using Hotels and Motels
The city governments of Pasig, Manila, and Valenzuela have turned to the hotels and motels in their cities as temporary accommodations for frontliners. Mayor Vico Sotto of Pasig has partnered with the motel owners to use their establishments in this fight against the coronavirus, converting them as accommodation for frontline workers or as quarantine facilities.
Similarly, Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso of Manila has signed Executive Order No. 17 that allows frontline workers to stay at certain hotels as their temporary lodgings. About 531 rooms were reserved for these workers.
To help their frontline workers, the Valenzuela City government under Mayor Rex Gatchalian has rented the Meaco Royal Hotel to give these workers a temporary abode. They also set up the Obando Frontliner Center to cater to the food and lodging needs of frontliners from neighboring Obando, Bulacan.
Connecting Condos and Organizations with Frontliners
A volunteer group called RockEd Housing Health made an online call through social media to owners of unoccupied condos and other properties near hospitals to lend their units to help house healthcare workers and other frontliners.
This initiative also lists religious centers and facilities among those that frontliners can find temporary shelter. If you need a place to stay, you can contact RockEd through their Facebook page or call 0917-5555070.
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