South Harbor PTB to be converted into a COVID-19 treatment facility

13 APRIL 2020, MANILA—With the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients continuing to rise, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), together with the Department of Transportation and the Philippine Coast Guard, is retrofitting the South Harbor passenger terminal building into a COVID-19 treatment facility.

Several government officials led by Senator Bong Go, House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Presidential Peace Adviser and Chief Implementer of the Ph’s COVID-19 measures Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr., Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Joel Garcia, BCDA president and CEO Vivencio Dizon and PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago inspected the Terminal on Monday.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said the facility is expected to help address the shortage of medical capacity particularly in the National Capital Region as well as its nearby cities and provinces.

“This became possible with the funding support of P100 million from the Lopez Group of Companies given to the DOTr, the PPA and the PCG to complete and operationalize the medical facility,” Santiago said.

“This will go hand-in-hand with the Bayanihan Quarantine vessel, which has already started to accept Overseas Filipino Workers and returning seafarers on Sunday,” Santiago explained.

Under the retrofitting plan, which is already ongoing, the Eva Macapagal Super Terminal, will house about 206 cubicles equally distributed according to several health/illness zones. The facility has 4 zones: green, orange, violet and blue, where green is for mild symptomatic COVID-19 patients while blue is for more advanced cases of COVID-19.

The facility will likewise be fitted and provided with the hospital/medical equipment needed to treat COVID-19 patients and airtight doors to prevent aerosols containing COVID-19 from spreading.

The Department of Health personnel as well as health and safety personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard will render the necessary medical treatment to patients being brought to the facility while PPA will provide additional support personnel that will be needed to run it.

Aside from this major project, the PPA has directed all its Port Management Offices to install additional handwashing stations in all PPA-ports as an added line of defense against the continuing threat of the deadly disease.

PMOs are also ordered to properly impose entry protocols as well as the physical distancing to all people within any port facility to further prevent COVID-19 infection.

“The entire DOTr family, led by Sec. Arthur P. Tugade, continue to look for ways to help the country in flattening the curve and defeating the dreaded disease. This is DOTr Bayanihan at its finest,” Santiago said.