Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday backed the plan to use Nayong Pilipino as a temporary COVID-19 mega vaccination site, saying it is crucial to meet the government target of inoculating 500,000 Filipinos every day.
“I have already agreed in principle that this facility will be used temporarily as a huge vaccination center to speed up our vaccination coverage,” Duque said in an ANC interview.
The construction of the vaccination center will be shouldered by the ICTSI Foundation of businessman Enrique Razon Jr.
“We really need big areas to ramp up our coverage. I said I will support the conversion of that area into a huge vaccination site,” Duque added.
The government is targeting to vaccinate 120,000 people per day in the National Capital Region alone.
The Nayong Pilipino mega vaccination center will be able to handle 10 percent of NCR’s requirement, or as many as 12,000 people a day, the ICTSI Foundation said in a statement.
“As early as March this year, the ICTSI Foundation submitted an unsolicited proposal to the government to build a temporary mega vaccination center in aid of the government’s goal to inoculate as many Filipinos as possible to curb the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and to achieve herd immunity by yearend,” it said.
The facility will feature an ambulatory vaccination station and a drive-through area. It will also house the mega quarantine center run by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that was also built by the Razon Group at no cost to the government.
“Contrary to previous reports, the proposed site is actually a deserted, uninhabited and vacant area and not an urban forest as erroneously claimed. It must be remembered that the entire Entertainment City sits on reclaimed land and unused portions of it, along with the Nayong Pilipino property, have limited vegetation including non-endemic trees,” the foundation said.
“The facility is designed by Architect Jun Palafox, a renowned environmental planner, who is giving his services free of charge. It must be put in context that one of the advocacies of the ICTSI Foundation is sustainable environmental protection,” it added.