DOH hospitals, offices on ‘buddy system’ for Ruby

Jee Y. Geronimo
The department has prepositioned drugs, medicines, and other supplies worth P243 million ahead of Typhoon Ruby

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, December 5, created a “buddy system” among regional offices and DOH-retained hospitals to make sure there are enough people, medical supplies, and equipment ahead of Typhoon Ruby (international codename Hagupit).

In the new system, regional offices and hospitals spared by the typhoon will assist 5 regions:

Buddy Regional Office and DOH-retained hospitals  Possible Affected Region
Northern Mindanao and Metro Manila Mimaropa and Eastern Visayas
Calabarzon and Cordillera Administrative Region Bicol Region
Ilocos Region and Zamboanga Peninsula Western Visayas
Cagayan Valley and Davao Region Central Visayas
Central Luzon and Caraga Eastern Visayas

As of 5 pm Friday, Ruby had slightly weakened as it moved toward the area of Eastern Samar and Northern Samar, where it is expected to hit land on Saturday evening, December 6. 

The health department said it will declare a Code Red Alert on Saturday, covering all DOH-retained hospitals in the affected regions.

This emergency alert means 100% of the hospital’s personnel will be on duty to assist patients and provide other services.

Code Red Alert is “part of the overall disaster preparedness measures to minimize the expected impacts of Typhoon Ruby on local communities,” the DOH said in a statement.

As of Friday, 15 hospitals are already on Code Blue Alert, with half of their personnel reporting for duty:


  • Ospital ng Palawan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
  • Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, Culion Island

Bicol Region:

  • Bicol Medical Center, Naga City
  • Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, Legazpi City
  • Bicol Sanitarium, Cabusao, Camarines Sur

Western Visayas:

  • Western Visayas Medical Center, Iloilo City
  • Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Bacolod City
  • Western Visayas Sanitarium, Sta Barbara, Iloilo
  • Don Jose S. Monfort Medical Center, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo

Central Visayas:

  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu City
  • Saint Anthony Mother and Child Hospital, Cebu City
  • Eversley Childs Sanitarium, Mandaue City, Cebu
  • Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, Tagbilaran City 

Eastern Visayas:

  • Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, Tacloban City, Leyte
  • Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital, Palo, Leyte

The department has prepositioned drugs, medicines, and other supplies worth P243 million ($5.45 million)* in the 5 regions.

Motorcycles and bicycles are also ready in regional offices so health teams can be deployed in areas that may not be passable to vehicles due to the typhoon.

Regional offices are already coordinating with provincial and municipal health offices for latest weather updates and news on “any untoward health event.”

“All of these measures are being undertaken as part of the comprehensive disaster measures to help ensure that the zero-casualty target is met,” the department said. –

*$1 = P44.60

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.