Ayala, Pangilinan assure additional telephone hotlines for govt's COVID-19 One Hospital Command Center
Business tycoons Fernado Zobel de Ayala and Manuel V. Pangilinan assured on Monday that their respective telecommunication firms will provide more telephone hotlines to government's One Hospital Command Center.
The two made the assurance after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque put them on the spot by calling them during his televised press briefing following the complaint by Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega during the same briefing that the public found it difficult to connect to One Hospital Command Center due to lack of telephone lines.
OHCC is a comprehensive and coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring effective and efficient health facility referral in Metro Manila. It also facilitates medical transport and patient pick-up arrangements, provide health system capacity data analytics and risk communications, and optimize the use of critical care services of every hospital in the area. Vega heads the OHCC.
During the briefing, Roque ordered his staff to call Ayala, co vice-chairman of Globe Telecom, and Pangilinan, head of PLDT-Smart Communications.
Roque was able to connect first to Ayala who immediately asked him the number of phone lines needed.
"We'll do and you know that we're always assisting, Secretary, it really depends on the requirements, but we'll do our best to assist you," Ayala said.
When Roque got in touch with Pangilinan, he requested that the OHCC be given fixed line by PLDT, noting that the government's center has only mobile phone numbers.
"Yes, Sir, we will do that. We will do right away," Pangilinan said.
Previously, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to send to jail the Ayalas and Pangilinan and even to slap them if he sees them due to alleged onerous contracts of Manila Water Corp. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. with the government.
Manila Water is owned by the Ayalas while Maynilad is led by Pangilinan.
But when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, the business tycoons and their companies donated huge amounts to the government to assist in COVID-19 responses.
Duterte apologized to Ayalas and Pangilinan among others as he expressed openness for the renegotiation of the contracts with the water concessionaires. Celerina Monte/DMS