MANILA, Philippines – Bayanihan E-Konsulta, the free teleconsultation services launched by Vice President Leni Robredo at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, will end its operations by next Tuesday, May 31.
This was announced in Bayanihan E-Konsulta’s official Facebook page on Monday, May 23.
The post thanked all doctors, nurses, as well as, medical and non-medical professionals who volunteered to join the teleconsultation services free of charge.
The Bayanihan E-Konsulta post also thanked all its partners who helped in maintaining its operations since its launch in April 2021.
“Taos-puso kaming nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng nakiisa sa inisyatibo nating ito upang makapaghatid ng kinakailangang tulong medikal sa ating mga kababayan ngayong panahon ng COVID-19 pandemic (We are whole-heartedly thanking everyone who joined us in this initiative to bring medical assistance to our country during the COVID-19 pandemic),” read Bayanihan E-Konsulta’s post.
“Sama-sama, pinatunayan natin: Walang imposible sa taumbayang nagkakaisa para iangat ang kaniyang kapwa. Maraming salamat po!” the post added.
(Together, proved this: There is nothing impossible for those who come together to uplift the lives of others. Thank you very much!)
Robredo launched the free teleconsultation service in a bid to help decongest hospitals following the record-high spike in COVID-19 cases in the country at the time.
The program drew widespread praise for its efficiency and speed in responding to cases, though Bayanihan E-Konsulta had to put a cap in the number of patients it could accommodate per day when COVID-19 cases surged. The program prioritized handling cases of COVID-19 patients, but it also accommodated patients with other illnesses.
The Office of the Vice President also sent COViD-19 care kits to infected patients, who were given free medicine, vitamins, thermometer, face masks, oximeter, disinfectant, alcohol, and garbage bag.
This Robredo initiative was later copied by the Department of Health nine months later starting January 2022, when the Omicron variant caused a huge spike in COVID-19 cases.
Apart from Bayanihan E-Konsulta, Robredo has also been running other COVID-19 pandemic response programs despite the OVP’s measly annual budget. These were free COVID-19 tests, vaccination drive in various local government units, personal protective equipment, shuttle services, and dormitories for frontliners, among others.
When Robredo sought the presidency in the 2022 elections, she had to temporarily stop operations of her pandemic response programs. She sought an exemption from the Commission on Elections, which later allowed the OVP to keep on running its pandemic response projects in March.
Robredo, however, lost the presidential race to the late dictator’s son and now presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. It remains to be seen if Marcos’ running mate and presumptive vice president Sara Duterte would continue Robredo’s anti-poverty and pandemic response programs. – Rappler.com