Cebu: Getting Divine blessings to fight COVID-19

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Philippine Star

Last Sunday at 8, we turned on our TV screen to the live streaming of the Metropolitan Cathedral to hear the holy mass officiated by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to consecrate Cebu to Our Lady of Guadalupe in a consecration read by Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia before the very statue of our Lady of Guadalupe and the prayer that Gov. Gwen recited for this consecration was so emotional that the Governor was in near tears. What a beautiful prayer that hopefully would protect Cebu from this global virus. 

For the last eight nights, there has been a nightly vehicular procession of our beloved Señor Sto. Niño on the streets of Cebu City that I believe has given us a great blessing. The result was that in the last COVID-19 report for Central Visayas we had only four deaths in Cebu City and two in Negros Oriental for a total of six. All this is due to the fact that our government leaders led by Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan and Talisay City Mayor Sam Sam Gullas with the support of Presidential Assistant Secretary Michael Dino and other government agencies banding together in the fight against this unseen enemy. 

For confirmed cases Cebu City still leads with 22, while there are two cases in Lapu-Lapu City and two cases in Mandaue City 4 in Negros Oriental 3 in Cebu Province. There is only one case in Bohol and none in Siquijor. Indeed Central Visayas has been blessed by God. Now we are in our very historic Holy Week and it is time to reflect on why our Lord Jesus Christ suffered his passion and death on the cross. Mind you this is one Holy Week where people cannot go on their annual vacation, but stay with their children at home. So it is really a time for you to pray the Rosary with your family because as Bishop Fulton Sheen said, “The Family that prays together stays together.”

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If there was any great news that we heard from President Rodrigo Duterte last Friday, it was that he fired Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) commissioner Manuelito Luna for urging the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Vice President Leni Robredo’s efforts to help people affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic accusing her of competing with government relief operations. 

I too wasn’t really impressed by PACC commissioner Luna. I mean at this point we need all the help that we can get and I never thought of the Vice-President competing with the work or duties of the President. However, never mind what I think… the most important person who should be affected by this is no less than Pres. Duterte who apparently saw nothing wrong with the efforts of the Vice-President in stressing that there is a need to keep politics away from the efforts to contain COVID-19 in the country. 

Pres. Duterte said, “I don’t have anything against Leni, I know she is just working. There are times when I criticize but at this time, the Vice President has no fault. She’s helping, why call for an investigation?” With this news, the office of the Vice-President expressed gratitude to President Duterte for his statement supporting their efforts to help those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

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Incidentally last Friday, April 3, the Visayan Electric Company dropped off 1,500 N95 masks, 10,000 pairs of nitrile gloves, and 1,300 safety goggles at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), the designated testing facility for COVID-19 in the Visayas. AboitizLand also turned over 2,000 surgical masks to the local government of Liloan in northern Cebu while Pilmico also gave N95 masks and goggles to the provincial government of Leyte. The Aboitiz Group also donated nitrile gloves to the Bureau of Immigration in Cebu.

The Aboitiz Group is one with the government and our brave medical and security frontliners who are working hard to defeat COVID-19. They are committed to supporting the COVID-19 frontliners for the long term.  Cebu is home to several Aboitiz-led businesses including several AboitizPower subsidiaries, Visayan Electric Company, AboitizLand, Pilmico, Aboitiz Construction, and City Savings Bank, among others.

As Sabin M. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group president and chief executive officer said, “Rest assured, we will continue to find ways to help our fellow Filipinos whose health and lives are at risk due to this pandemic.” AboitizPower-led Therma Visayas Inc. (TVI) also turned over P500,000 worth of medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and food to Toledo City. The donation included 200 bottles of ethanol alcohol, 100 boxes of surgical face masks, 100 boxes of sterile gloves, 2,500 food packs, 2,000 canned goods, 20 sacks of rice, and liquid hand soap and bleach. Thanks!

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