By Emmie Abadilla and Betheena Unite
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), and the MVP Group of Companies has completed on schedule Wednesday the conversion of the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan into a 300-bed COVID-19 mega-treatment facility.
The facility will be turned over to the Inter Agency Task Force on COVID-19 (IATF) medical teams and will also be available for returning OFWs who will be required to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The Quarantine Center will be run by the Philippine government, with personnel from the Department of Health, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine National Police (PNP).
“This is another testament to the effective collaboration among the public and private sectors. Our group will continue to support the government’s COVID-19 emergency response programs and help the country recover from this pandemic.
During this health crisis, everyone must pitch in,” said MVP group head Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), through NLEX Corporation, will provide special and exclusive access along the North Luzon Expressway to the Philippine Arena quarantine center for the IATF quarantine teams and medical support groups.
Toll-free passage will also be given to all medical frontliners, ambulances, medical service vans and the support team buses of the DOH.
To ensure efficient and safe movement of vehicles within the area, NLEX will assist in traffic management and 24/7 monitoring via its CCTV system.
Roving patrol crew, emergency response and engineering teams will be on standby to ensure hassle-free access between the NLEX and the quarantine facility.
Meralco will install eight concrete poles and nine distribution transformers to energize the three mega tents.
The electric distribution company will also waive the installation and dismantling costs and ensure the continuous flow of electricity to these temporary structures.
For its part, Maynilad Water and subsidiary Philippine Hydro Inc. will provide free metering works for the water supply requirements of the quarantine sites.
They will also render technical assistance and support on water supply-related concerns.
To support the quarantine center’s communication requirements, PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications will equip the center with free Wi-Fi services and enable medical frontliners and patients alike to be online.
“Our partnership signifies the true spirit of bayanihan. We are thankful to the MVP Group for helping us complete the requirements to make this mega quarantine center operational,” said DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain, head of the agency’s Task Force on Augmentation of Local and National Health Facilities.