PICC, Trade Center, and Rizal Memorial Become COVID-19 Quarantine Facilities
The conversion of three Philippine government buildings into facilities for COVID-19 patients is on track to be completed by the end of the week.
Construction is ongoing at the Philippine International Convention Center, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, and the World Trade Center.
The project is being led by the Department of Public Works and Highways, which was given a 10-day deadline from April 1. Dan Lichauco, the architect behind The Medical City group of hospitals and The Asian Hospital, among others, designed the quarantine centers, balancing the needs of patients and the protection of medical professionals.
Different business groups are assisting with the funding.
DPWH, EEI Corp, one of the nation’s largest construction companies, and the Villar Group of Companies are handling the conversion of the PICC Forum Hall, a multi-purpose venue with usable area of about 4,000 square meters. The facility will accommodate about 630 COVID-19 patients.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the conversion of the government buildings will help control the spread of the virus by removing persons under monitoring from their communities.
“As most of the health facilities in Metro Manila have reached or are nearing maximum capacity, the immediate conversion of PICC Forum Halls will significantly provide an optimal isolation space for monitoring of people infected by COVID-19 virus. We want to decongest the hospitals,” Villar said.
The Ayala Development Corporation and Makati Development Corporation have committed to the conversion of the World Trade Center, which is expected to accommodate 500 beds.
Meanwhille, the Ninoy Aquino Stadium at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is being converted by the government in collaboration with the Razon Group, specifically Prime BMD and the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc.
More areas have also been identified for conversion, if necessary, including the Quezon Institute, Amoranto Stadium, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Quezon City Circle, PhilSports Complex, FTI, Dutyfree at NAIA, and Filinvest Tent. Meanwhile, in Region 3, New Clark City Government Center, New Clark City Athletes’ Village, ASEAN Convention Center, and Philippine Arena are also being considered.