Although the Philippines’ tourism sector is one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is also one of the fastest in responding to the needs of the community.
At least eight budget hotels in metro Manila have offered their facilities for free to house medical frontliners from various hospitals.
The number is likely to shoot up as the Congress and Senate have given the Philippines’ president the power to direct the operations of any privately-owned hospitals, medical and health facilities, as well as hotels and other similar establishments to temporarily house healthcare workers, serve as quarantine centres, and medical relief and aid distribution locations, with appropriate compensation.
The drastic need for more spaces ensued as some major metro Manila hospitals find themselves packed to the rafters and unable to receive more Covid-19 patients, which surged to 522 yesterday.
Since Luzon is on lockdown until April 12, all hotels and restaurants have been closed, domestic airlines have ceased operations, mass transport is suspended, and inbound and outbound travel banned.
The state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation announced that the metro’s four integrated resorts have donated 210 million pesos (US$4.1 million) to boost the government’s efforts in cushioning the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coming from Solaire Resort and Casino is 60 million pesos worth of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and N95 masks for medical frontliners in various hospitals dealing with Covid-19 cases.
Meanwhile, Okada Manila has shelled out 50 million pesos for testing kits, PPEs, validator/testing machines, masks and alcohol for the Philippine General Hospital.
On the other hand, City of Dreams Manila donated 675,000 kilos of rice, 500,000 bottles of water, 500,000 cans of sardines, 250,000 cans of tuna, 500,000 cup noodles, with a total worth of 50 million pesos to relief centres, affected families and healthcare providers.
In addition, Resorts World Manila released 50 million pesos for the procurement of PPEs and infrared thermometers, as well as other essential items for public hospitals and grocery packs to community beneficiaries.
City of Dreams Manila and Okada Manila have also lent their shuttle buses to help transport health workers in and around Paranaque City.