DPWH Secretary Mark Villar paves way for opening of COVID-19 modular hospitals

Over the course of the past year, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has successfully led the completion and opening of several of the government’s “Build Build Build” projects.

According to a report released by the DPWH last Aug. 2, approximately 6.574 million jobs were generated from 2016 to 2020 from the many infrastructure projects, many of which aim to tackle Metro Manila’s traffic problem.

However, the “Build Build Build” projects are not just limited to addressing traffic congestion problems but also the lack of viable facilities to treat and contain the COVID-19 pandemic — a big concern as the number of patients is on the rise once more.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar takes a selfie with medical front- liners during the turnover of a modular hospital in Las Piñas.

Build Build Build quarantine facilities

Part of the government’s efforts in containing the COVID-19 pandemic are the We Heal As One Centers, which include the Mega Community Quarantine Facilities or Isolation Facilities, Off-Site Dormitories, and Modular Hospitals. These We Heal As One Centers are meant to ease the strain on our country’s overloaded healthcare system by providing healthcare services to Filipinos who have contracted the virus.

With an initial target of 770 total facilities with 28,534 open bed capabilities, the DPWH has already reached 739 operational facilities with 27,302 open beds, which is approximately 95 percent of the target.

Located in Laguna, the Alonte Sports Complex is among the completed Quarantine/Isolation Facilities funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

A total of 695 of the 770 facilities have been designated as Quarantine/Isolation Facilities, of which 673 are fully functional. Some of the completed facilities are the Alonte Sports Complex in Laguna, the PICC Forum, and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Meanwhile, 51 of the 53 off-site dormitories have also completed construction. Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital and the Quezon Memorial Circle count as among the completed Off-Site Dormitories.

Lastly, the remaining 22 facilities are Modular Hospitals with 15 being fully operational, including the Quezon Institute and the Batangas Medical Center.

Breakdown of the modular hospitals

The Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls 1 to 3 were converted into Quarantine/Isolation Facilities for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Of the 15 fully operational Modular Hospitals, five units are located in the Quezon Institute Hospital with 110 bed capabilities; two units are located in Batangas City with 31 bed capabilities; two units are in Las Piñas Gen. Hospital with 44 bed capabilities; and one unit each in the Lung Center Hospital with 16 bed capabilities, Dr. Jose Rodriguez Hospital with 22 bed capabilities, NKTI with 20 bed capabilities, V. Luna Medical Center with 22 bed capabilities, Pasig City Gen. Hospital with 22 bed capabilities, and Ospital ng Maynila with 22 bed capabilities.

The remaining seven units still under construction have a total capacity of 154. Five of these units are located in the Lung Center Hospital with an additional 110 bed capabilities, while the remaining two units are in the Southern Philippine Medical Center with 44 bed capabilities.

The Quezon Memorial Circle counts among the facilities converted into Off-Site Dormitories for the use of COVID-19 patients.

The DPWH also reported that as of July 29 the number of occupied beds in their Mega Temporary Treatment & Monitoring Facilities is 1,022 of 3,363, an occupancy rate of 30 percent. Meanwhile the occupancy rate of their Oplan Kalinga Quarantine Hotels is nearly double that at 50 percent with 1,171 out of 2,338 beds occupied.

The We Heal As One Centers are indicative of the government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and serve the Filipino people during these uncertain times. Filipinos can feel more at ease knowing that measures are being done to address the lack of facilities that was prevalent when the country was still adjusting to the influx of patients.