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Philippine Arena / Wikipedia

Philippine Arena to be transformed into quarantine facility

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The Philippine Arena will be converted into a quarantine facility for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, according to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa INC, sa kapatiran, pumayag na po sila, in-offer nilang gamitin ang Philippine Arena para mag-serve sa Bulacan at sa Region 3,” BCDA president Vince Dizon said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

The Philippine Arena, located in Ciuded de Victoria in Bulacan, is the world’s largest indoor arena with a floor area of 99,000 square meters and seating capacity of more than 50,000.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has earlier announced that the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) and World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay and the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila will be used as facilities for the treatment and health monitoring of COVID-19 patients. 

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said in the same Laging Handa briefing that the three facilities will be finished within 10 days.

Apart from the three iconic buildings in Metro Manila, Dizon said the FTI in Taguig City, Quezon Institute in Quezon City, Ultra in Pasig City, Filinvest Tent in Muntinlupa City, Duty Free Philippines in Parañaque City, Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City, Veterans Memorial Complex, and open areas in Quezon Memorial Circle.

Also eyed as COVID-19 facilties is the New Clark City, convention center in Clark, and the Athletes’ Village.

“Ginagawa po natin ito para hindi na kumalat itong virus na ito sa ating mga kababayan,” Dizon said.

“Ang mga ospital po natin ay unti-unti ng napupuno, gusto po natin maigilan ang pagdagsa ng mga tao sa ating ospital para po ang ating ospital ma-prioritize ang mga may severe na pangangailangan,” he said.

Dizon said that staying in the government facilities are free.

“Sinisigurado ng ating gobyerno at private sectors, unang-una libre ang pagkain dito pati sa ating staff. Walang iisipin ang ating kababayan,” he said.

“Airconditioned ang lahat ng ating facilities na itatayo. Ikatlo, free WiFi din po ang ibibigay, nagpapasalamat tayo sa PLDT at Smart,” he added.

The BCDA chief also thanked the private sector for their assistance in building COVID-19 quarantine facilities.

“Unang-una gusto nating pasalamatan ang Razon Group, Prime BMD at Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, sila ang gumagawa ng Rizal Memorial, wala pong gastos ang gobyerno diyan,” Dizon said.

“Nagpapasalamat din tayo sa EEI at Vista Land, sila ang gumagawa ng PICC sa tulong ng DPWH. Minimal ang gastos ng ating gobyerno diyan. Nagpapasalamat din tayo sa Ayala Land, AC Energey, Makati Development Corp. at ICPP, sila ang nag-ooperate sa World Trade Center,” he said.

“Sa Filinvest, Aboitiz Group, Lina Group of Companies, Meralco nag-offer ng libreng kuryente sa facilities, Smart, PLDT, Globe, DM Consunji at Concepcion Industries dahil nagbibigay sila ng libreng air-conditioning units,” he added. 

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