Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar spent his last day with the agency doing what he does best – work.
The 43-year old Villar, who announced Monday that he is resigning from his position effective Wednesday after five years with the department, led the inspection Tuesday, Oct. 5, of a hospital for COVID-19 patients inside the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) in Mandaluyong City which has a total bed capacity of 132.
The DPWH is set to turn over the facility to the Department of Health (DOH) by the end of this month.
According to Villar, the facility is capable of accepting severe COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces from Calabarzon and Central Luzon.
“This will be my last project inspection and I want to make sure that this facility will bring relief to hospitals in Metro Manila, including Southern and Northern Tagalog very soon, with more than a hundred capacity,” said Villar.
Four out of the six modular hospital units, each with 22 rooms, are already completed while two other units are being fast-tracked for completion towards the end of this month. The department was able to complete two cluster units of off-site dormitories for medical frontliners each with 24 fully air-conditioned rooms and double decker beds with toilet and bathrooms capable of accommodating 96 individuals.
While he did not reveal what his next plans are, there were reports that Villar is among the cabinet secretaries of President Duterte who would run for senator under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) led by energy chief Alfonso Cusi in the 2022 national elections.
A former congressman representing the lone district of Las Piñas, he joined the Duterte cabinet in August 2016 to lead the administration’s “Build! Build! Build!” infrastructure program.