There will be no lush forest that will be decimated with the planned construction of a temporary vaccination site in Nayong Pilipino, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
Nograles made an assurance that the mega vaccination center would be built in the government property in Parañaque City without harming the trees.
“Wala naman matatamaan na mga puno dyan (No trees will be affected there),” Nograles said in a statement Thursday, May 13.
“When drawings were being made to identify which site ang paglalagyan ng temporary vaccination mega site, talagang sinikap nila hanapin ang pinaka-feasible area na wala namang tatamaan na mga puno (where the temporary vaccination mega site will be built, they really strived to find the most feasible area where no trees will be affected),” he said.
Nograles said the Department of Tourism also conducted “due diligence” on the site of the proposed vaccination site.
“Based on their reports to us, hindi naman po totoo na may lush forest na tatamaan dyan (it is not true that a lush forest will be hit),” he said.
So far, the government has yet to forge a pact on the vaccination site proposal with the proponent led by ports and gaming tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.
Nograles said the memorandum of agreement between the DOT and the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Foundation on the vaccination facility was still being finalized. The proposed vaccination facility, once completed, can reportedly vaccinate as many as 10,000 people a day.
“That MOA is forthcoming, just a few minor technical edits being done. It’s already been vetted by the Department of Tourism (DOT), it’s been vetted by the Department of Health (DOH), it’s now going through our Government Corporate Counsel,” he said.
“Just a few minor edits and it will be signed very, very soon,” he added.
Apart from the Nayong Pilipino site, Nograles said the government was exploring other potential venues of the vaccination centers, including shopping malls. He said they will work with the private sector to establish these temporary facilities to accelerate the country’s vaccination effort.
“National government and local government units partner in this fight against COVID-19 with private sector partners at no costs to government,” he said.
“Robinsons Malls, SM Malls, all the other malls, their parking lots; hospitals, mega hospitals; so it’s a partnership between public and private in this fight against COVID-19. And as long as there’s no cost to government, then there’s really no problem with that. I think that’s not happening just in the Philippines, it’s happening everywhere in different countries across the globe,” he said.