DPWH eyes to convert 11 more Metro Manila sites into health facilities

Published March 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Betheena Unite

After converting various evacuation centers into health facilities, several public buildings and sites in Metro Manila were recommended by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to be used as isolation sites for more than 10,000 suspected COVID-19 patients.


The department is now looking into preparing existing public buildings and open spaces in Metro Manila to be used as health facilities and isolation sites for persons under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) to address hospital shortage due to the continued rise of COVID-19 cases, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said.

According to Villar, the task force aims to facilitate augmentation of local and national health facilities. They have drawn up the conversion of wide open spaces into isolation sites, where prototype tents can be installed.

Undersecretary Emil Sadain said a proposal is already in place to convert available spaces at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), World Trade Center (WTC), Rizal Memorial Coliseum, and Philippine Institute of Sports Multipurpose (Philsport) Arena, which can accommodate a total of 2,905 possible patients.

The four buildings have water and electrical lines that can be converted into isolation facilities preferably for COVID-19 PUIs and PUMs, Sadain added.

Open areas at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), WTC, Philsport Area, Rizal Coliseum, Quezon City Memorial Circle, University of the Philippines-Diliman Campus, and Veterans Memorial Medical Center can also be used as plots where DPWH can install prototype tents.

With these available open spaces, an estimated 249 plots inclusive of 747 tents, with three tents per plot of 800 square meters, can be installed and can accommodate up to 7,470 patients.

DPWH will also look into the possibility of converting the old Casino Filipino near NAIA Terminal 1 in Pasay City into an isolation facility. 

Meanwhile, Sadain reported that 19 out of the 110 DPWH-built evacuation centers are now being used as health facilities around the country, while 10 others are emergency operation centers.