By Myrna M. Velasco
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, front-liners at The Medical City (TMC) can take refuge for a temporary and free shelter at the converted MetroTent Convention Center via the initiative of businessman-politician Luis “Chavit” Singson with the support of First Philippine Holdings Corporation of the Lopez group.
The joint project of Singson and the Lopez conglomerate warranted the retrofitting of MetroTent as a temporary home for the TMC employees – given that the area is just within walking distance to the hospital and also at the center of the Ortigas Business District.
Singson, who served as former Governor of Ilocos Sur, asserted that he is sincerely elated “to be of help in providing a solution to a problem confronting many of our hero-employees of TMC who have to take long walks between their homes and the hospital because of the transport ban arising from the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine).”
The interim dwelling place for the TMC employees is a 120-bed facility with provisions for beds; tables and chairs for their meals; as well as toilets with shower/bath amenities.
The retrofitting of the place, according to Singson, was concretized with the help of First Balfour, the engineering and construction business unit of the Lopez group.
First Balfour, in particular, provided mattresses, pillows and blankets spread in rows over the cavernous floor of MetroTent that shall be ready for use by the male employees; while for the female TMC employees, they will be staying at the individual tents set up also by the Lopez company.
And while the medical workers take MetroTent as their residence for the time being, they can stay in touch with their loved ones and colleagues because the Lopez Group’s Sky Cable Corporation, also extended additional support on free wifi/internet service connection.
As emphasized, after the completion of the MetroTent retrofitting last Saturday (April 18), Singson already turned over the facility to the management of TMC, so the hospital could subsequently install “its own anti-Covid-19 protocols to assure the safety of its medical front-liners who are temporarily housed there.”
Singson stressed “MetroTent is now ready to serve as shelter for the TMC employees,” as he also emphasized that they “don’t have to worry about the rent because I am allowing TMC to use it for free while the ECQ prevails.”
The former Ilocos Sur governor intimated that such act of goodwill on his part may not even be enough to compensate for the audacity and the sacrifices of the medical workers who have been exerting their utmost to care for our sick countrymen, especially at this high point of the coronavirus pandemic.