By Martin Sadongdong
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday turned over five newly-built emergency quarantine facilities (EQFs) to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (ARMMC) in Marikina City to help increase its bed capacity for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.
Military engineers as well as architects from the WTA Architecture+Design Studio, a long-time partner of the AFP, teamed up to build the emergency facilities which can accommodate a total of 120 patients.
Lt. Gen. Ramon Ang Lim, AFP Inspector General, led the ceremonial turnover with Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, Maj. Gen. William Ilagan, AFP Chief Engineer, Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Anthony Ramos of the 51st Engineering Brigade, and Architect William Ti Jr., of the WTA Architecture+Design Studio.
The facilities were funded by the local government of Marikina and the United Architects of the Philippines-Manila Chapter.
According to the military, the EQFs are designed to treat and isolate COVID-19 patients with mild to no symptoms, and should help decongest hospitals to increase the health care system’s capability to contain the pandemic.
“I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who made this endeavor possible and for everyone who extended their support. The AFP deeply appreciates this assistance and partnership. We hope that this will continue to inspire everyone to contribute in winning this challenge,” Lim said.
In partnership with the military, Architect Ti said their team is pushing to build a total of 62 emergency quarantine facilities to help hospitals attending to COVID-19 patients.
As of May 3, Ti said 56 facilities have already been constructed by volunteer architects and turned over to various hospitals in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Six more facilities are in the pipeline and will be given to hospitals which have already maxed out their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, he added.
Of the finished EQFs, eight were built to augment military hospitals.
Three of them are in the Army General Hospital in Taguig City, two in V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City, and one each in the Philippine Air Force General Hospital in Pasay City, Fernando Air Base Hospital in Batangas, and Manila Naval Hospital in Taguig City.