(Photo courtesy of DPWH)

MANILA – To augment the number of health facilities nationwide, the Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar announced that a total of 125 evacuation centers is prepared to be converted as an exclusive facility for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

“(Another) 110 evacuation centers have been completed with access to both power and water. We are now facilitating power and water connection to an additional 15 evacuation centers,” Villar noted.

In Butuan, the evacuation center has already been converted into a health facility specific to Covid-19 patients by the city government of Butuan and the Butuan City Medical Center.

Villar noted that the DPWH has inspected, along with the Department of Health, possible location sites — such as in San Gabriel in Tuguegarao, San Pablo in Isabela, Mexico and Lubao in Pampanga, Botolan in Zambales, Talavera in Nueva Ecija, and Tabuk in Kalinga.

“In Dalaguete in Cebu, the evacuation center is already being used as a health facility for Persons Under Investigation or Persons Under Monitoring. The DOH resident epidemiologist recommended bed arrangement with the appropriate distancing of 10.26 sq.m,” he said.

Villar said at least four evacuation centers are used as food hubs by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and another nine as emergency operations centers by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. (PR)