Mayor calls for honesty from patients

Iloilo City Health Office personnel conduct thermal scanning on commuters entering Iloilo City at Ungka Terminal in Jaro. (Photo by Arnold Almacen/CMO)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan and Emme Rose Santiagudo

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on Monday called out persons who do not disclose their travel histories to places with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases upon arriving in Iloilo.

Treñas cited the case of a hospital that admitted two patients with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

“There are two patients who bypassed the hospital’s triage and were already at the emergency room, who may be positive. The father did not disclose, so the emergency room is on lockdown up to today, and six of their health personnel are now Persons Under Monitoring and now on quarantine,” he said.

Treñas highlighted the importance of honesty and disclosure in the fight against the pandemic.

“This is what I am saying, and this is why there is limited mobility. When you feel something, don’t be scared. We have limited mobility except for essential persons because we have to lessen transmission to make sure everyone’s safe. I know some are concerned, but we have to give up a little of our freedom for the health and security of everyone,” Treñas said.

Treñas also called out municipalities observing regulations which slow down the delivery of essential goods and services.

“I’ve gotten reports that there were some municipalities, I’m not going to mention which municipalities, that have these ‘out-of-this-world’ requirements. There was one where they required a Food Pass from DTI, and I’m not familiar with the DTI requiring such food pass, and another where one would need certification saying they tested negative for [COVID-19]. Where are they going to get these? Who will issue these things?” Treñas asked.

Treñas stressed the need for continued delivery of food and medicines into the city.

“You have noticed that I haven’t stopped the delivery of food and medicines, no? I can’t be too strict because if I was, we’d end up with no food. My first instruction is that food and medicine deliveries are a priority in our fastlanes,” Treñas said.


Food security of residents staying in their houses amid the enhanced community quarantine should be given utmost priority in the fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Treñas added.

Mayor Jerry Treñas emphasized that no Ilonggo should go hungry as the city continues to combat COVID-19.

Ang away ta sa COVID-19 is only 15 percent. Ang away ta sa pagkaon is 85 percent. That is why sige-sige ang aton community and food kitchen, we have to make sure that there is food for the people,” Treñas said in a press conference on Monday.

The mayor said around 240 community kitchens established in the day care centers in city barangays have started operating over the weekend.

The community kitchens are headed by the parents’ associations of the day care center including barangay officials.

Naga-operate na ang aton community kitchens using man ang mga gindonate aton na mga pagkaon. Ara sila sa aton mga day care centers,” he added.  

Using the donations from private individuals and groups, the city government extended food assistance to 88 barangays, according to the mayor.

Treñas said the food assistance distributed to barangays included rice, canned goods, and noodles.

“We will continue to provide food assistance. Ang ini nga first wave of assistance ini tanan amot sang private nga negosyante diri sa siyudad,” he said.

The mayor added that they established the Uswag Relief Operations Team to help prepare and distribute food assistance to the barangays while the Uswag Kitchen Patrol prepared and delivered food to roughly 390 COVID-19 frontliners in the city.

“We are trying to make it as easy as possible diri sa aton pero sa iban nga mga lugar damo pa sila ginapangayo,” he lamented.