The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Philippine Arena and MVP Group of Companies have partnered in a large-scale health and safety initiative in a bid to isolate and provide optimal medical care against COVID-19.
Under the leadership of DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar and Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, a 300-bed COVID-19 mega-treatment facility at the Philippine Arena Complex made available by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) in Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan will be completed on schedule by Wednesday, April 29, 2020 as part of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Following the offer made by the INC to the government to utilize available facilities free of charge as quarantine site at their Ciudad de Victoria property, Secretary Villar directed Senior Undersecretary Rafael C. Yabut, Chairperson of COVID-19 Coordination Committee; and Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, Head of Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local/National Health Facilities to work with both goverment and private groups for the setting up of mega quarantine center within 10 days.
Upon instruction of Secretary Villar, planning and coordination were conducted by Undersecretary Yabut and Undersecretary Sadain, Regional Office 3 Director Roseller Tolentino, and other members of DPWH Task Force with Maligaya Development Corporation COO Atty. Glicerio “GP” Santos; DOH Assistant Secretary Leonita P. Gorgolon, and, IATF and other project stakeholders. The group supported by other members of DPWH Task Force and Region 3 District Engineers jointly undertook the conversion of three (3) big tents into healthcare center fully equipped with hospital beds for patients including repatriated OFWs who will undergo mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine against COVID-19.
In his April 27 report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary Sadain said that installation of 92 bed cubicles at tent 1 with floor area of 26 meters by 105 meters, and 104 bed cubicles each for tents 2 and 3 with identical size of 50 meters by 60 meters have been completed in conformance to DOH standard space of 3.05 square meters per patient. Separate toilet facilities for health workers using 40-footer container vans, medical personnel’s mess hall, disinfecting tents, supply storage area, and air conditioning system have also been set-up in each of the three (3) isolation centers.
The MVP Group is providing free access for medical workers and patients to the Philippine Arena Quarantine Center via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX); free use of Wifi throughout the site via PLDT/SMART Communications; free connection to water supply from MAYNILAD Water Services; and free installation of power lines and connection to the MERALCO grid.
The MVP Group is the country’s leading conglomerate of infrastructure utilities with diverse assets in power distribution, water supply, tollways operation and telecommunications and digital services.
In a joint meeting and inspection on Monday, April 27 by the DPWH Task Force and partner companies from the private sector, Mr. Jose Reyes, Vice President for North Distribution Services of power distributor MERALCO informed that stable supply of electricity will be made available at the three (3) mega tents with his engineers and linemen working on the ground for the installation of poles, primary power lines, transformers, and other accessories to energize the premises without any deposit and installation charges.
On the otherhand, Maynilad Water Services with its subsidiary Philippine Hydro Inc. committed for sufficient water allocation with provision of free metering works from the Ciudad de Victoria to the mega quarantine tents. Maynilad President Ramoncito S. Fernandez said technical assistance and support on water supply-related concerns will also be provided .
Patients on isolation at the center as well as the deployed medical workers and other service frontliners can also keep in touch with their families and loved ones for free in the first three (3) months of quarantine operation via wi-fi connectivity to hotspots which will be installed without charges by PLDT and SMART Communications.
Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation/North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corporation Head for Operation Westerly Dionisio said that the tollways management has granted the DPWH request for waiving of fees on its Ciudad de Victoria Toll Plaza for government and private vehicles carrying medical professionals and patients bound to Philippine Arena’s We Heal As One Center.
The “We Heal As One Center” at Philippine Arena Complex will be subject to final inspection/checking within this week by members of National Task Force and IATF-EID for acceptance and operation.
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