PH ARENA'S COVID-19 FACILITY. The 300-bed Covid-19 center at the Philippine Arena Complex made available by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) at Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan will be completed on schedule by April 29. The mega-treatment facility was made possible through the efforts of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Philippine Arena and MVP Group of Companies. (Photo courtesy of the DPWH)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The 300-bed coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) mega-treatment facility at the Philippine Arena Complex made available by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) in Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan will be completed on schedule by April 29.

In line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s "Bayanihan to Heal as One Act", the establishment of the “We Heal As One Center” is made possible by the joint efforts of the Department Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Philippine Arena and MVP Group of Companies.

The three entities partnered for a large-scale health and safety initiative to isolate and provide optimal medical care to Covid-19 patients.

The INC offered to the government the use of its available facilities at its Ciudad de Victoria property as quarantine site free of charge.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar directed Senior Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, chairperson of the agency's Covid-19 Coordination Committee, and Undersecretary Emil Sadain, head of the Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local/National Health Facilities, to work with government and private groups to set up a mega quarantine center in 10 days.

The DPWH Task Force and Region 3 District engineers undertook the conversion of three big tents into a healthcare center fully equipped with hospital beds for patients including repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will undergo the mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine.
In a statement on Tuesday, Sadain said installation of 92 cubicles at Tent 1 with a floor area of 26 meters by 105 meters, and 104 cubicles each for Tents 2 and 3 with identical sizes of 50 meters by 60 meters have been completed, conforming with the DOH standard space of 3.05 square meters per patient.

Separate toilet facilities for health workers using 40-footer container vans, medical personnel’s mess hall, disinfecting tents, supply storage area, and air conditioning system have also been set up in each of the three isolation centers.

The MVP Group, headed by its chairman Manuel Pangilinan, is providing free access for medical workers and patients to the Philippine Arena Quarantine Center via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX); free use of Wi-Fi at the site via PLDT/SMART Communications; free connection to water supply from Maynilad Water Services; and free installation of power lines and connection to the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) grid.

The MVP Group is the country’s leading conglomerate of infrastructure utilities with diverse assets in power distribution, water supply, tollways operation and telecommunications and digital services.

In a meeting and inspection on Monday by the DPWH Task Force and partner companies, Jose Reyes, vice president for North Distribution Services of Meralco, said the stable supply of electricity will be available at the three mega tents with engineers and linemen working on the ground for the installation of poles, primary power lines, transformers, and other accessories.

On the other hand, Maynilad Water Services with its subsidiary Philippine Hydro Inc. committed to allocate sufficient water with provision of free metering works from the Ciudad de Victoria to the mega quarantine tents.

Maynilad president Ramoncito Fernandez said technical assistance and support on water supply-related concerns will also be provided.

Patients on isolation at the center as well as the deployed medical workers and other service front-liners can also keep in touch with their families and loved ones for free in the first three months of quarantine via Wi-Fi connectivity to hotspots which will be installed without charges by PLDT and SMART Communications.

Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation/North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corporation head for operation Westerly Dionisio said the tollways management has granted the DPWH request for waiving of fees on its Ciudad de Victoria Toll Plaza for government and private vehicles carrying medical professionals and patients bound to Philippine Arena’s "We Heal As One Center".

The mega facility at Philippine Arena Complex will be subject to final inspection/checking within the week by members of National Task Force and IATF-EID for acceptance and operation. (PR)