Parañaque City’s top official has backed the construction of a mega vaccination center at the Nayong Pilipino amid concerns on its environmental impact.
Mayor Edwin Olivarez said in an interview on DZRH that the mega vaccination facility is not permanent in nature and will only be built temporarily for the purpose of fighting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“May sinasabi sila doon na iyong puputulin na puno ng ipil-ipil eh malaki naman iyong lupa na iyon (They are concerned about the ipil-ipil trees that would be cut down for the project but the land area there is really wide),” he said.
“Malaking bagay po iyan para mai-rollout po natin iyong vaccine at para po iyong ating 70 percent na gusto nating makuha before December (This is a huge thing for us to be able to roll out the COVID-19 vaccines and inoculate 70 percent of the population before December),” he added.
The Nayong Pilipino Foundation Board of Trustees (NPFBT) has said in a statement that the “abrupt cutting” of close to 500 trees and other site works on the NPF property will kill the existing ecosystem.
“Once lost, it could take decades to recover this ecosystem,” it said.
“A mega-vaccination facility that will destroy this ecosystem would be a disaster and a disservice to the residents of Metro Manila who need more green and open spaces,” it added.
Vaccine czar and National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. had earlier aired his disappointment over the delay in the construction of the mega vaccination facility, which, according to him, could have a major impact in the national government’s inoculation program.
He said the mega vaccination facility’s construction has been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) through Resolution No. 109 dated April 10.
Once built, the mega vaccination center is expected to speed up the National Vaccination Program since it has the capacity to cater to up to 10,000 people a day. Its construction is led by billionaire businessman Enrique Razon Jr. through his International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Foundation.
Due to the absence of the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the NPFBT and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, construction has not yet commenced.