MANILA, Philippines, April 5, 2020— The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) has started providing protective equipment as well as needed supplies to key public hospitals in Quezon City in an effort to assist the local government and health authorities in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We’re distributing these necessities to all public hospitals in Quezon City to address the urgent needs of our medical frontliners. We’re doing our own effort to lessen their vulnerability to the virus when they’re performing their tasks,” said INC general auditor Glicerio Santos Jr.
Santos added that INC executive minister Brother Eduardo Manalo directed the church to be “all out” in its aid and assistance efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, which has hit various areas in Quezon City as well as opening up the use of the Philippine Arena in Bulacan to be used by the government in fighting the disease.
“Ka Eduardo has told us that rather than face this threat with fear, we should confront it with action– – and this is why the church has chosen to help the government and our countrymen in any way we can,” said Santos.
He said the facility’s management has already discussed this with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). On Friday, government representatives conducted a site visit and ocular inspection of the Philippine Arena, Philippine Sports Stadium and The Garden Suites, all inside Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan.
According to Santos, “the government can already begin making preparations in order to ensure that it can handle a sudden rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.”
“We are ready to help. In this critical time we all need to work together to beat this virus. We are all affected, so we must all act,” he added.
The Philippine Arena is the largest indoor arena in the world. It can seat over 50,000 spectators and has a floor area of 99,000 square meters.
Aside from the Philippine Arena’s huge floor area, the venue also has other advantages, said the INC official.
He pointed out that the Philippine Arena “can easily be isolated and secured as ingress and egress can be regulated. It is also easily accessible via NLEX.”
“Medical personnel assigned to the venue can also use the rooms at The Garden Suites in the Ciudad de Victoria as their quarters, so they need not commute to and from Metro Manila.”
The INC official shared that the church continues to work with both public and private sector stakeholders in coordinating assistance efforts.
In addition to medical equipment, the church has also given a P5-million donation to the Quezon City government through Mayor Joy Belmonte, as well as P3 million worth of medical assistance to Davao City.