Message from UP President Danilo L. Concepcion to the PGH community
26 March 2020
To the Staff and Administration of UP-PGH,
On behalf of our community at the University of the Philippines—indeed, on behalf of the Filipino people—let me thank you, first of all, for your courageous, selfless, and outstanding service in these very trying times. Our nation and our people are suffering from a devastating scourge, and those of you at the frontlines are performing a heroic and unenviable function.
You have been through this before. During the Second World War, your wards overflowed with the victims of that conflict. You treated Filipinos, Japanese soldiers, and American internees alike, doing your utmost with pitifully depleted supplies. Rather than be drafted as foot soldiers, your interns were pressed into the medical service ahead of their time.
But even, and especially, in more ordinary times, you have attended to our people’s needs, especially our poorest. “PGH” has become synonymous with hope and caring, with compassion and commitment, even in the direst circumstances. You never give up, you always give your all, often beyond the call of duty, and certainly beyond your pay grade.
Today, we all face the gravest threat of this generation to our nation’s well-being, and once again we have been called upon to close ranks and face the enemy—an infectious and insidious pathogen—with you, our Infectious Disease Specialists and Medicine personnel, at the spearhead of our defense.
It is with deep humility that those of us who march with you and behind you acknowledge that we may not be able to do as much, but we will also do our best to support you, so no effort and no sacrifice will go to waste.
In accepting the formidable responsibility passed on to UP-PGH to serve as a Covid-19 Referral Center, let me assure you that we will also protect and take care of our own ranks through specific measures, such as:
– Securing enough PPEs and instituting proper Infectious Control Measures in the hospital,
– Ensuring a strict one-week tour of duty followed by a two-week period of quarantine,
– Arranging for free lodging and accommodation as well as transportation requirements for all our HCWs in PGH during this crisis,
– Providing adequate nutrition and physical as well as psychosocial support, especially to those in the clinical areas and frontliners, and
– Ensuring full support from the DOH and the Philippine government as well as partner private hospitals for the augmentation of our manpower, technical, technological, and financial needs.
We deeply appreciate and encourage your strong spirit of volunteerism, but let me also say that PGH will allow only those who are fit to join.
PGH agreed to become a Covid referral hospital on the condition that you may continue to serve other patients with other ailments, and that the Covid Wing be exclusive and segregated from the rest of the hospital, with its own ER. We agreed also on the condition that the DOH will give us additional medical personnel for the Wing and that all its needs, e.g. PPEs, will be provided. If these conditions are not met, we shall restrict admission of cases to keep them at a safe and manageable level.
These are extraordinary times, calling for extraordinary efforts and extraordinary people. I have no doubt that once again, the brave men and women of UP-PGH will rise to the occasion and respond to their country’s call with steadfast courage, abounding talent, and exemplary professionalism. The entire UP community salutes you. Your people crown you with their gratitude.
Mabuhay po tayong lahat, at patnubayan tayo nawa ng Panginoon.
Ang inyong tagapaglingkod,
Danilo L. Concepcion
*Featured image courtesy of UP MPRO photo archive