The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with the support of private firms EEI Construction and the Villar Group have begun converting the Forum Halls of Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) for the management of mild to moderate cases of corona virus disease (COVID-19) patients.
Secretary Mark A. Villar announced that materials and manpower resources are now at PICC Forum Tent site as there is an urgent need to prepare new health care facilities to cope for the upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases so as to decongest hospitals in Metro Manila and reserve the hospital beds for more severe cases.
“Time is not on our side anymore with the exponential increase in the number of patients”, said Secretary Villar.
With Secretary Villar’s instruction, DPWH Undersecretary and Head of the Task Force on Augmentation of Healthcare Facilities Emil K. Sadain said that six (6) smart houses (outdoor) will be also installed for medical personnel at PICC complex.
Planning and coordinating with Dr. Leonita P. Gorgolon of Department of Health (DOH) and Architect Dan Lichauco of UP-Philippine General Hospita was made by DPWH for smooth and expeditious implementation and to ensure that the partitions to be constructed at PICC Forum shall conform with the requirement of medical professionals, said Undersecretary Sadain.
DPWH National Capital Region Director Ador G. Canlas together with technical support of Directors Ernesto M. Gregorio Jr., Eric A. Ayapana, and Aristarco M. Doroy of the maintenance, construction and design bureaus of the Department are leading the construction activities at PICC.
Secretary Villar said that he has the full trust that the DPWH-EEI-Villar Group team working 24/7 is more than capable to finish quickly the conversion works at PICC Forum Tent.
The DPWH Chief also expressed admiration for workers of the Deparment working as service frontliners, who like the health workers, had to sacrifice their lives for the nation to heal as one.
Meanwhile, 40 workers of EEI Construction are deployed in Rizal Memorial Coliseum handled by Razon Group to expedite the on-going conversion into COVID health facility for mild case asymptomatic patients.
Works are also on-going at World Trade Center (WTC) handled by Ayala Group with design-lay out approved by UP-PGH Architect Lichauco.
According to Undersecretary Sadain, daily monitoring of health conditions of the workers, including but not limited to temperature checks, health checklists, and exposure checklists, are among the construction protocols implemented in the three (3) work sites.
Sharing of hand tools and power tools is also discouraged and regular disinfection are practiced at work areas while those workers who have pre-existing health conditions including persons above sixty (60) years old will not be allowed for deployment so as not to compromise their immune systems.
Villar said the completion of health facilities at PICC and WTC is within 10 days and about a week for Rizal Coliseum.
The DOH will then manage the operation of completed health facilities with possible assistance from private health care providers.