QUARANTINE FACILITY. Navy officials lead the blessing of the emergency quarantine facility turned over by the WTA Architecture and Design at the Naval Combat Engineering Brigade in Taguig City on Wednesday (April 1, 2020). The facility will house persons under monitoring (PUMs) and patients under investigation (PUIs) for the coronavirus disease 2019. (Photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) formally accepted on Wednesday one of the first coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emergency quarantine facilities (EQFs) in the country.

The facility is now installed at the compound of the Naval Combat Engineering Brigade, Naval Station Jose Francisco in Taguig City.

PN public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said in a statement that this facility was created in collaboration with a group of architects and engineers headed by Architect William Ti, Jr.

It is an easy-to-set up structure made of readily available materials such as wood and plastic that can accommodate up to 17 patients.

Roxas said the EQF is the brainchild of Ti's group and designed to house those categorized as persons under monitoring (PUMs) and patients under investigation (PUIs), which the hospitals can no longer accommodate due to overwhelming cases.

Roxas said the EQF was formally received by Fleet-Marine Ready Force head, Commodore Toribio Adaci, Jr. from Ti and the WTA Architecture and Design.

"The operation and the needed medical requirements of this facility will be supervised by the PN’s Chief Surgeon," she added.

Meanwhile, Adaci hopes more EQFs will be constructed as these facilities of this kind can be used by front-liners and communities under threat from Covid-19.

"We hope that we will continue to build more of this kind of facility, not only for us, not just for the Armed Forces, but for our communities,” he added. Roxas said the EQF is a tangible manifestation of the outstanding partnership between the military and the civilian sector especially in this time of crisis.

"This pilot project will help validate the efficacy and usefulness of the concept and shall serve as inspiration for other institutions to adopt the same scheme amid the increasing number of PUIs and PUMs," she added.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Felimon T. Santos, Jr., expressed his appreciation to Ti and his group for their assistance in building the EQFs.

"On behalf of every soldier, airmen, sailor, marine, and the medical personnel of the AFP, I would like to express our profound gratitude to the WTA Architecture and Design Studio led by Architect William Ti for coming up with and helping us build the Emergency Quarantine Facilities," he said in a statement.

He added that the EQFs will further enhance our capability to care for patients and certainly ease the burden of many hospitals dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

"In these trying times, it makes us proud to see Filipinos step up with ingenious means of helping our government and our front-line personnel," he added.

While stressing that the battle against Covid-19 will be "long and hard", Santos said this is the time for others to step up, use their creativity and expertise, and unite with the one unifying purpose of winning this fight. (PNA)