Palace assures enough facilities for COVID-19 patients in NCR

MANILA, Philippines – With the record-high 2,434 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the Palace assures the public that the National Capital Region has enough facilities for COVID-19 patients dismissing reports that hospital beds have run out as fake news.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr.

“Nililinaw po namin na yung mga kumakalat na fake news na ubos na daw po ang mga hospital beds ng ating mga hospital, hindi po yan totoo,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr, in a media briefing on July 6.

“Ang critical care utilization ng Metro Manila, at ito po ay kasama na yung hospital beds, ICU beds, yung mechanical ventilator, at saka mga isolation beds ay nasa 63 percent,” stressed Secretary Roque.

The Palace official further disclosed that Department of Health officials and Metro Manila hospitals’ medical directors recently met and have come to an agreement that 30 percent of hospital bed capacity will be allotted for COVID-19 patients.

“So ang napagkasunduan po ay talagang mag-aallot ng 30 percent of hospital beds para sa COVID, bagamat humingi po ang mga pribadong ospital na kung pupwede payagan muna sila hanggang 20 percent at saka na po mag-iincrease,” said Roque.

Secretary Roque, who is the concurrent IATF Spokesperson, also underscored that we are still far from breaching the 30 percent hospital beds allotted for COVID-19 cases. “Hindi pa po nabi-breach itong 30 percent na ito. Bakit po? Kasi marami po, lalong-lalo na yung mga pribadong ospital, less than 30 percent ang kanilang ina-allot po dahil dun sa tinatawag na absorptive capacity.”

The Presidential Spokesperson likewise mentioned that Health Undersecretary Leopoldo “Bong” Vega has been designated as the Head of the One Hospital Incident Command. Usec. Vega will be the point person in determining and providing regular information on critical care utilization and hospital care and capacity.

In the same media briefing, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said that there should be no interest on interest and there should be no penalties imposed on late or delayed payments on loans and credit cards.

The BSP Governor advised the public to talk to their banks if they are still having a hard time to pay the interest on their loans because the BSP has provided banks with some relief efforts to help their clientele.

On the question of how can the BSP help bring back consumer’s confidence to boost consumption, Gov. Diokno said that the BSP has cut interest rate by 175 percent—the lowest interest rate in Philippine history.

Because of the low interest rate, Gov. Diokno said that this is a good time to invest or fund a business venture, or start a home renovation project because interest on bank loans will be at its lowest.

The BSP head said that they want to encourage consumption, production, and investment because there really is a need to open up the economy. He said that if people will continue to be afraid to consume, buy, invest, and produce, nothing good will happen to the country’s economy.

Gov. Diokno also stressed that the country’s inflation outlook is also good, as they at the BSP expect inflation to be benign or within the target of two to four percent for the next three years.

— The Summit Express

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