Saturday, April 4, 2020

SJDM Congresswoman Florida "Rida" Robes Details the 3-Point Framework in Covid-19 Response



No one is exempted from today's pandemic crisis, even the frontliners and government officials are not safe with the spread of COVID-19. That is why few of our government officials who were exposed to some public servants and politicians who later tested positive for COVI-19 went and observed self-quarantine. One of them is Congresswoman Florida "Rida" Robes of the lone district of San Jose Del Monte (SJDM) City, Bulacan who touched base with her constituents in a 5-minute talk with members of the media last April 2.

Congresswoman Robes used a very personal approach to encourage people to be responsible enough to automatically undergo self-quarantine and practice physical distancing. "Alam n'yo nung panahon na ako ay nasa loob lang ng kwarto, sobrang lungkot ako. My daughter was asking me, 'Mom, when can I hug you? When can I kiss you?' I told her, 'On Thursday, anak. And that's today, my 21st day of self-quarantine. Bakit ko ito ginawa? Kasi I love my family most and, of course, I love my family here in the district of the city of San Jose del Monte. Ayaw ko 'yung na-expose na nga ako, tapos lalabas pa ako. It's very irresponsible if I do that. Dahil mahal ko kayo, tiniis ko na nakikita ko lang si Mayor [Arthur Robes] outside, nakikita ko lang ang aking mga kapamilya combatting this kind of calamity."

Congresswoman Robes continue to discuss SJDM's efforts during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). She explained that she and her husband SJDM Mayor Arthur Robes (who went into self-quarantine about a week after she did) and their respective teams worked used a three-point framework that was based on one principle: "Pagyamanin mo kung ano ang meron ka." This involved the following:

  1. 1. Seeking a resolution to enable the use of the calamity fund.
  2. 2. Coordinated with frontlines, which included the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) about setting up of checkpoints according to the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the implementation of the ECQ.
  3. 3. Implementing rehabilitation programs to address the needs of the people, especially the micro and small business owners. 

In line with the Robes couple's mission of inclusive progress, Congresswoman Robes explained that they made sure to cater to nearly 69,000 indigent people in SJDM. Indeed, in the first wave of the distribution of relief packs, 10,910 indigent people were served. In the second wave, 58,060 people were reached. Congresswoman Robes stated that there would be a third wave of relief pack distribution. "Ideally, we could go to all the 145,000 households in SJDM," she added.

Robes mentioned that they were also waiting for the full implementation of the "Bayanihan Heal as One" (BAHO) Act so that more help could be extended to the people of SJDM.

When asked how she felt about the bashers who criticized her and Mayor Robes' efforts, Congresswoman Robes said, "Nakikiusuap po ako na huwag na po nating isali ang pamumulitika rito. Your criticisms are welcome, but if you cannot contribute anything then please just pray for our city." The congresswoman asked everyone to just unite so that the whole district could get through the crisis.

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