MANILA, Philippines — The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis will only have a “minimal” impact on the Duterte administration’s ‘”Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said Friday.
Villar assured that the deadline for projects will be met even as the entire island of Luzon was put on lockdown as the government grapples with the infectious respiratory illness.
“Siyempre may kaunting effect dahil hindi kami makakatrabaho, kaunti lang siguro dahil ilang buwan lang,” Villar said in a virtual “LAging Handa Press Briefing” aired over state-run PTV.
“Sa tingin naman namin, kaya naman namin habulin ang target implementation,” he added.
For now, Villar said the DPWH is zeroing in the conversion of state-owned facilities into COVID-19 quarantine sites.
He said that the conversion of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls, the World Trade Center (WTC), and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum into isolation sites for the treatment and monitoring of COVID-29 patients have already started and are set to be completed by April 12.
The government is converting these massive conversion centers and sports facilities into isolation sites as hospitals and health care centers struggle to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Philippines has 2,633 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 107 of whom have died while 51 have recovered.
National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said Thursday night that the government is eyeing to commence the “massive” testing of suspected coronavirus patients on April 14, a day after the lifting of the Luzon-wide lockdown.
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