Public Works Secretary Mark Villar has ordered the conversion of three establishments into temporary health facilities to be completed in 10 days.
“The Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls, the World Trade Center in Pasay, and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila will soon be converted into a much-needed facility for the treatment and health monitoring of COVID-19 patients, as well as patients under investigation (PUIs) and patients under monitoring (PUMs). One of the facilities is expected to be completed within the week,” Villar said in a news release issued on Wednesday.
He said the move hopes to control the spread of Covid-19 and take the PUIs and PUMs out of the communities.
“As most health facilities in Metro Manila have reached or (are) nearing maximum capacity, the immediate conversion of PICC Forum Halls will significantly provide an optimal isolation space for monitoring of people infected by Covid-19. We want to decongest the hospitals,” Villar said.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), EEI, and Villar Group of Companies will undertake the conversion of the PICC Forum Halls, a multi-purpose venue with a usable area of about 4,000 square meters.
“(The) DPWH, EEI, and Villar Group of Companies (are) working to accomplish the redesigning and conversion of Forum Halls 1 to 3 into Covid-19 facility within two weeks period,” he said, noting that the temporary health facility could accommodate about 630 Covid-19 PUis and PUMs.
Once its conversion is completed, it will be under the supervision of the Department of Health (DOH).
On the other hand, the conversion of the World Trade Center and Rizal Memorial Coliseum would be undertaken with the support of private companies.
The Ayala Development Corp. and Makati Development Corp. have committed to help convert the World Trade Center, and the Razon Group, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex specifically the Ninoy Aquino Basketball Stadium.
As directed by the National Task Force Covid-19, the DPWH will accredit construction workers who will work on the three facilities that will serve quarantine or isolation areas.
Each accredited worker will be provided with a quarantine pass to be exempted from the government’s strict home quarantine policy.