MANILA--Mayor Isko Moreno and city officials here will donate their April salaries to the Philippine General Hospital to help its staff in the fight against COVID-19, Moreno said in a statement Saturday.
The mayor said their combined salaries -- worth about P4.7 million -- will be sent to the PGH, one of the country's hospitals made exclusive for COVID-19 patients.
"In our own little way, sana po ay makatulong ito sa pagpapalakas ng kakayanan ng ating mga frontliner, particularly sa healthcare sector," Moreno said.
Earlier, officials from the executive and legislative departments said they will set aside at least 75 percent of their salaries for healthcare workers and other frontliners for the same purpose.
'TIGIL MUNA ANG POLITIKA'
Moreno's tone was less softhearted earlier this week, though, in a Facebook video he posted Thursday criticizing senators.
"Mga senador, 24 lang kayo. Ipakita niyo ang pamamahal sa Pilipino. Kaming mga taga-Maynila, Pilipino rin. Ngayon niyo ipakita. Nasaan kayo ngayon? Nasaan? Hinahanap namin kayo. Kasama na ako, at mga kababayan ko sa lungsod," Moreno said.
"Puro na lang tayo kontra dito, kontra doon dahil sa mga isinusulong niyong political interest. Wala ba kayong puso?
"Maswerte kayo na pinagpala kayo. Maswerte tayo nakaluwag tayo sa buhay. Pa'no 'yung naghihikahos bago pa mangyari ang krisis na 'to, at lalong naghihikahos sa kasalakuyang krisis na to."
The mayor called on the senators to temporarily stop their "political warfare" so they can serve their "public duty."
"Pwede ba makisuyo? 'Yung pagkakainis natin sa isat-isa bilang politiko, pwedeng 90 days lang [ihinto]? Ibuhos natin lahat resources natin," he said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III dismissed Moreno's allegations, saying they've been doing their job and cited the higher chamber's approval of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which granted President Rodrigo Duterte authority to realign items under the 2020 national budget to respond to the pandemic.
"Our duty as lawmakers is to promptly pass the enabling law so the exec dept can use govt funds to respond during this health crisis. We did so in 18 hrs," Sotto tweeted.
"It’s not our mandate to repack rice and sardines with a complete PR team around us. Some of us do, WITHOUT the PR team!" Sotto added.
Also responding to Moreno, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the Senate has been busy since the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases early March.
"Yorme, kaya po namamahagi ngayon ang gobyerno ng tulong pinansyal kasama na ang lungsod ng Maynila ay dahil nagpagod at nagpuyat ang mga senador kahit may banta ng COVID-19 para ipasa ang Bayanihan Act. Iyan kasi ang mandato namin," he tweeted.
"Mali ang paratang ninyo na wala kaming ginagawa."
As of Saturday, the Philippines has recorded nearly 3,100 COVID-19 cases, with more than 130 deaths.