By Raissa Robles
I thought it was a scam because the Twitter account of Raul Arcaya was made only this April, he only had two followers and no photo uploaded.
I thought he even calculatingly used photos of a baby attached to a respirator to tug at women’s hearts.
And his cry for help seemed overwrought:
Please help us 😭😭🙏 Pahingi po ng kahit konting tulong po para sa anak namin. Di na po namin kaya ang bayaran. hirap na hirap na po kaming maghanap ng pera. premature baby po siya, under developed lungs pa po siya 😭😭🙏 pic.twitter.com/cwnxWCqUKy
— raul arcaya (@raul_arcaya) April 5, 2020
I was about to scroll past the tweet, one of hundreds I see everyday, when my eye was caught by
this question posed by @ArbetBernardo:
I am seeing a troubling trend – people doubting calls for help on Twitter, especially those from accounts that are newly created. These doubts can be blamed on troll centers who keep on creating new accounts for trolling and making hashtags trend.
— Arbet Bernardo (@ArbetBernardo) April 5, 2020
How do we know if the cries for help are real?
Fortunately, in this case, the father Raul Arcaya had posted a prescription and a receipt with the logo of Manila Doctors Hospital.
So I called up Manila Doctors and this is what I found:
A baby boy named Alexander Arcaya was born prematurely on March 8, 2020. His father was listed as Raul Arcaya, Jr.
After the birth, baby Alexander was admitted as a charity patient, meaning, the doctors had waived their professional fee.
However, the hospital bill has not been waived and since infant is in the neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the bill has gone up to P500,000 and this is apart from the cost of delivery, according to the person I talked to inside Manila Doctors.
The baby is not ready for discharge.
The baby is not a coronavirus patient but the financial distress of the father is genuine.
Guys, I hope you can find it in your heart to help whatever amount you can spare. And I hope the hospital, the health care arm of Metrobank Foundation, could also find a way to help.