UP-PGH COVID-19 Bayanihan Na! Operations Center launched


The UP-PGH COVID-19 Bayanihan Na! Operations Center located at the Nurses Home within the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) compound was formally launched on March 30, 2020 with its major players in attendance. Conceptualized by UP President Danilo Concepcion, UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita Padilla, and PGH Director Gerardo Legaspi, the UP-PGH Bayanihan Na! Operations Center is equipped with Hotline Number 155-200 dedicated for UPs response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Operations Center has 2 main objectives: 1) to formalize a system to facilitate the University’s provision of support for its frontline workers and patients; and 2) to enable a  simple response through a hotline number for patient queries about COVID and non-COVID medical concerns. The Hotline Number has 2 arms:   Donation Arm and a Patient Query Arm.

UP-PGH COVID-19 Bayanihan Na! Operations Center complements UP Manila’s efforts in the COVID-19 pandemic with the active participation of its 2 units – PGH as a COVID Referral Center and National Institutes of Health (NIH) as testing center. NIH is also tasked to do the field validation of the locally developed kit.

PLDT thru its president and CEO Mr. Manuel Pangilinan donated a hotline number 155-200 with its 20 phone lines. The PGH Medical Foundation (PGHMF) will be the sole conduit for monetary and donations-in-kind.

The call center is available 24/7 and is manned by 60-70 student volunteers in 3 eight-hour shifts who will answer questions and advise callers with regards COVID-19 and direct donors to PGHMF. There is active recruitment of volunteers from the UP Manila community. 

Director Mahar Lagmay of UP Resilience-Noah Center has mobilized a team of volunteer developers from his office and UP CSI, a student organization from the UP Diliman Department of Computer Science, in developing a patient query and donations dashboard for quick reference and overall situationer. This is complemented by an app that captures patient information, shared by Mr. James Mercado of NowheretogobutUP Foundation Inc. in coorperation with  Unexus Medical Solutions, Inc.

In his message during the program, UP President Concepcion mentioned the various efforts, notably the help from the government and donations from the private sector, which were necessary to equip this Operations Center. He expressed hope that this Center's operations will be instrumental in continuing PGH's long tradition of offering excellent service to the country. For her part, Chancellor Padilla outlined the myriad of tasks and the numerous people, organizations, and offices who contributed to this Center's complete fruition. She expressed her gratitude to them and exhorted everyone to work together for the fight against COVID-19 to be successful. Director Legaspi capped the program by also listing quite a number of important contributions of equipment and the crucial help of his team and other personnel.

Mr. Manuel Pangilinan of PLDT and PGHMF President Dr. Telesforo Gana sent AVPs greeting to the attendees and promised to support and work closely with the UP-PGH COVID-19 Bayanihan Na! Operations Center .

All in all, it was a memorable event which started with the taped invocation from the UP Medical Alumni Society Chorale and ended with the singing of "UP Naming Mahal". Cynthia Villamor