The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) together with the support of private firms EEI Construction and Villar Group are now converting events places into COVID-19 facilities. The chosen venue for the first site is the Forum Halls of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). It will be used for the management of mild to moderate patient cases of the Coronavirus.
Secretary Mark A. Villar announced that the materials and workers are already at the PICC Forum Tent site. The move to get the conversion underway for all three sites was due to the increasing demand for health care facilities to cope with the still upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases. With the work already progressing it will help decongest hospitals in Metro Manila and reserve hospital beds for more severe cases. On top of the conversion, temporary smart housing will also be built near the area for medical staff.
Another site that is also under construction is the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. 40 Workers of EEI Construction have already been sent to the area and have already begun their work. These works will be handled by the Razon Group of companies, another private firm that is joining in to help.
Work for the third conversion site - the World Trade Center is also underway. The Ayala Group of companies will be heading this building renovation project with a design layout already approved by UP-PGH Architect Lichauco.
Safety is the number one priority here even for the workers of each site. While on the job site each one will have their health conditions monitored daily. This includes but is not limited to temperature checks, health checklists, and exposure checklists. These are among the construction protocols that will be implemented at each site. In order to minimize possible infection, the sharing of hand tools and power tools is also discouraged and regular disinfection shall be practiced at each work site.
The projected time for completion of the sites according to Secretary Villar is about 10 days for the PICC and WTC sites and about a week for the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. Once these are complete the DOH will then manage the operation of the completed facilities with assistance from private health care providers if needed.