A total of three buildings of the Villar family will be used by the Las Piñas General Hospital (LPGH) as extension of its facilities, temporary housing for healthcare workers and quarantine facility.
In joining nationwide efforts to provide much-needed support in the country’s fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Senator Cynthia Villar turned over the three buildings to the hospital.
“We are sharing the rooms and facilities of the said buildings to the Las Piñas General Hospital to provide their healthcare workers with a convenient temporary accommodation, so they don’t have to commute daily. The hospital can also use it to complement their existing facilities to better cope with the demand for beds and rooms,” said Villar.
“The number of COVID-19 patients are increasing as testing becomes readily available and hospitals are running out of space, the three buildings combined can help LPGH handle more patients and provide accommodation for their healthcare staff, too,” said Villar.
The Villar family will also take care of the daily food needs of the Las Pinas General Hospital Staff.
The said buildings are one of the two buildings of the Las Piñas Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center and the buildings of the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines (VMLP) and the Provincial Board Members’ League (PBML) all located in Barangay Ilaya, Las Pinas City.
The Las Pinas Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Barangay Ilaya has a two- storey building for female occupants with 86-patient capacity and a three-storey building for male occupants with 158-patient capacity.
According to Villar, the drug rehab patients will be transferred to one building where they will stay together for the meantime.
Villar said the present crisis calls for unity and “bayanihan” among Filipinos.
“The end of this coronavirus crisis could be longer than everyone expected. We have to remain calm, follow the orders of the authorities for everyone’s sake, help in whatever way we can and set aside personal or political differences. We just have to remember that we are all in this together and we will overcome this as one,” Villar said.
Earlier, the Villar family also donated disinfecting apparatus, face masks and drinking water to government hospitals.
The first batch of disinfecting apparatus was donated to nine government hospitals. Some 200,000 face masks and supply of bottled drinking water were also donated through the Department of Health (DOH).
Villar is also donating food and drinking water to various barangays in Las Pinas and Cavite.
Meanwhile, Senator Nancy Binay asked health and local officials to convert the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex into quarantine centers for patients under investigation (PUI) while Senator Francis Pangilinan wants military hospitals and Quezon Institute be used for severe cases of the new coronavirus.
Binay said the PUIs recently-upgraded sports facilities in Manila instead of sending them home while waiting for test results, and as long as strict protocols are followed and biosecurity precautions are in place.
“I believe sports complexes like the can be an option than having PUIs sent back to their homes,” she said.
She said the newly-restored sports facility can be one of the better options in order to decongest PUIs in hospitals which have already gone over their allowable bed capacities.
The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) houses the 8,000-seat capacity Rizal Memorial Coliseum, dormitories, an open-air track, baseball and football fields, tennis and other indoor sports facilities.
If there will be no interventions to decongest hospitals and provide alternative half-way centers, she said the situation would be more difficult.
“It is for the best interest that there should be interventions made to isolate PUIs or PUMs from the rest of the population,” Binay noted.
Given the rising number of patients positively confirmed having COVID-19, Binay said sports complexes or small hotels in the provinces may be evaluated if these can be appropriately used as evacuation and community quarantine facilities based on required health and medical standards.
The senator also proposed provincial governments could follow the lead of Albay where a hotel in Tabaco City was re-purposed as quarantine center for cases of COVID-19, the same with other LGUs which also dedicated half-way quarantine facilities in their respective areas.
She said that by having a controlled quarantine facility, LGUs can achieve minimal community transmissions thereby ensuring the public’s health and safety.
Pangilinan, on the other hand, wants to convert military hospitals V Luna Medical, Veterans’ Memorial Medical plus Quezon Institute into COVID centers.
Aside from severe and critical cases, these can also be used for those undergoing dialysis, emergency cases, and cancer patients.
He also said the huge spaces of Rizal Memorial, Ultra, PICC can serve as makeshift isolation centers for those with mild symptoms.
He said those tested negative but were exposed to COVID-19 positive should go on self-quarantine./Stacy Ang