The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will turn over the newly-constructed 32-room Quarantine and Isolation Facility at Alijis village to the Bacolod City government Friday 30 October 2020.
Before the turnover, Mayor Evelio Leonardia and other city officials inspected the P25-million facility yesterday. Joining the inspection were Councilor Renecito Novero, chair of the Quarantine Centers Action Team; Acting City Engineer Aladino Agbones, Engr. Xenia Locsin and Engr. Loben Rafael Ceballos, both of the City Engineer’s Office; and DPWH contractor Rico Abeto.
The facility was built by the DPWH at what used to be the plant nursery of the City Agriculture Office in Barangay Alijis to support Bacolod’s need for additional healthcare facilities for asymptomatic and mild COVID cases.
City Administrator Em Ang said the project is being supervised by the DPWH Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of National and Local Health Facilities, headed by DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain, and assisted by DPWH-6 regional director Leah Delfinado.
In September, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, the “chief isolation czar” of the National IATF, had announced that they are ramping up construction of healthcare facilities to support urgent needs created by the spike of COVID-19 cases in Bacolod City that month.
Leonardia said, “We are deeply grateful to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, Undersecretary Emil Sadain, and regional director Leah Delfinado for providing Bacolod with these facilities for free. This will save us a lot of local funds that we can use for other COVID-response expenditures.”
“But beyond that, we can accommodate in these facilities more asymptomatic or mild positive cases that come up as we intensify our contact tracing efforts, and free up the hospitals to take care of the moderate and critical cases,” he added.
The facility has a comfort room in each of the 32 rooms, with hot-and-cold shower, and air-conditioning system; two female and two male rest quarters for medical and service personnel, two generator sets, two utility rooms, and two nurses’ stations.
The City will be in-charge of the water, electricity and the maintenance of the facility.
Leonardia has also written Secretary Villar asking for another 32 rooms with similar configurations as the one scheduled for turnover this 30 October and also to be constructed at the same venue because there is still space available for it there.
During the ceremonial contract signing between Bacolod City and the DPWH last September 9 at the L’Fisher Hotel, Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force on COVID-19, who witnessed the signing, announced that “109 COVID facilities will be built by the DPWH for Bacolod, upon the request of Mayor Bing (Leonardia).”
The quarantine/isolation facility newly-built at Brgy. Alijis and now ready for turnover to the City this October 30 is part of this assistance package for COVID facilities in Bacolod City that is estimated to cost the DPWH around P42.5 million.*/CITY PIO