DOT green lights Mayor Isko’s proposed temporary mobile hospital at Rizal Park

Published April 14, 2021, 10:26 AM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has greenlit the construction of a temporary mobile hospital and a drive-through vaccination site at Rizal Park in Manila.

Tourism chief Bernadette-Romulo Puyat (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Board of Directors of the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), an attached agency of the DOT, unanimously approved the proposal of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to construct a temporary mobile hospital at Rizal Park’s Burnham Green.

In his letter addressed to NPDC Executive Director Cecille Lorenzana Romero, Domagoso requested to build the health facility “in anticipation of a possible surge of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) cases”.

The city mayor committed to design, construct, maintain, and manage the hospital “up to its logical conclusion” at no cost to the national government. He also assured to restore the Burnham Green to its original condition afterward.

During its meeting on Tuesday, April 13, the Board also backed the construction of a temporary drive-through vaccination site at the Parade Grounds of the Quirino Grandstand which is also under the management of the NPDC.

This will be located beside the drive-through reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing facility jointly managed by the local government of Manila and NPDC. Once completed, it is expected to accommodate 350 to 400 vaccinees per day.

“The DOT has repurposed its tourism sites to support the current efforts to protect the public’s health and safety during this crisis. These facilities will be open to all, not just the residents of Manila,” Puyat said.

The tourism chief, who also sits as the chairman of the NPDC, added that the mobile hospital would cater to patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.

Rizal Park–one of the largest urban open parks in the National Capital Region–has converted its areas into evacuation sites and processing sites for locally-stranded individuals since the start of the pandemic last year.

A drive-through vaccination site is also set to rise in Parañaque City after the government’s pandemic task force recently approved DOT’s proposal to construct the facility at Nayong Pilipino. It will be able to vaccinate 12,000 individuals daily.