MMDA to turn isolation facility to COVID-19 vaccination center

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2021   •   265

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is planning to convert its quarantine facility into a national COVID-19 vaccination center that will help the government on its immunization program expected to be rolled out next month.

MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said the 800-square meter facility will be turned into COVID-19 vaccination center to help expedite the distribution and administration of the vaccines once they become available in the country.

“The MMDA quarantine facility is open for any national government agency that needs a place to efficiently roll out the anti-COVID-19 vaccination program. We are always willing to lend assistance to stop the transmission of disease at the soonest time possible so we can go back to normal again,” Abalos said in a statement.

The MMDA in May 2020 established the isolation facility to serve as temporary holding area for its own employees who need to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine in accordance with the Department of Health’s protocols.

Located in the agency’s headquarters in Makati, the facility is air-conditioned and fully equipped with shower rooms, comfort rooms and lavatories, and Wi-Fi connection.

The MMDA chief also offered to assist Metro Manila local government units on vaccine logistics and equipment for quick mobility across the National Capital Region.

Meanwhile, Abalos also revealed the agency’s plan for all its employees to undergo monthly RT-PCR swab test to ensure their health and safety.

“Our personnel’s welfare is our topmost priority. We need to make sure that they are safe from the dangers of COVID-19. This is one of our ways to help the national government in curbing the spread of the disease.”

The MMDA announced last year it has allotted P20 million for vaccine procurement for its entire workforce. Each employee can also nominate one member of their family to receive vaccination.

More frontliners in Manila register for city’s COVID-19 vaccination program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—More frontliners in the city of Manila have pre-registered for the city’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said that the number of registrants increased from the initial 200 to 1,900 on Monday when the government launched its vaccination drive.

This is almost half of the total number of medical frontliners in six government hospitals in the city.

Maraming na-inspire na mga doctor at nurses. So, umakyat ng 1,900 ang aming nagparehistro. So, kaya ang payo ko, don’t miss the opportunity. Ang pinakamabisang bakuna ay ang bakunang nasa braso mo (A lot of doctors and nurses were inspired so 1,900 registered. My advice is to not miss the opportunity. The most effective vaccine is the vaccine injected in your arm), he said.

Domagoso assured vaccine registrants they can still choose the brand of vaccine they want to receive.

An initial 3,000 Sinovac vaccine vials have been delivered to Manila City which will be administered to 1,500 individuals. The city government aims to vaccinate one of the two doses within the week.

Meanwhile, Domagoso said he is waiting for a proper clearance before getting vaccinated as policy states that medical frontliners are the priority for the COVID-19 vaccines. AAC

Construction of elevated busways to begin in four months — MMDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The construction of the elevated busways in several areas along EDSA will begin in four months, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to submit the design by next week.

After the design submission, Abalos said the bidding process will begin.

“We have to go [through] the process of bidding of procurement which is about 3-4 months. Give us four months matatapos na po ito (it will be completed). Gagawin namin ito sa corner ng (We will construct this at the corner of) Quezon City and Caloocan.” 

The MMDA said the elevated busway is among the solutions to ease traffic along EDSA.

“There is only one way to beat this. It’s what we called the elevated bus ramps,” Abalos added.

The MMDA chairman said the agency has around P200 million budget from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Quezon City local government to fund the said project.

The agency is also looking for more ways to further increase its budget for the construction of the busways. -AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

Shooting incident stalls traffic near mall along Commonwealth Ave.

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

Photo by Rapid Uno Gonzales

Vehicular traffic along Commonwealth Avenue was temporarily stopped early Wednesday night following a shooting incident reported near the Ever Gotesco Mall, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.

In an advisory, the MMDA said traffic on the eastbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue was temporarily stopped due to the armed encounter.

[Admin 24] MMDA UPDATE: Shooting incident at Commonwealth Ave. Ever Gotesco EB involving PNP as of 6:57 PM. Temporarily…

Posted by MMDA on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The MMDA said the shooting incident was still ongoing around 6:57 p.m. with police officers at the scene.

“Ongoing zipper lane on WB side bound to Fairview. PNP and MMDA on site,” the agency said.

The management of the Ever Gotesco mall in Commonwealth have confirmed reports of a shootout outside of the mall but did not provide any information about the incident.

“We have secured all access to the mall so all shoppers are safe inside. Our priority right now is to ensure the safety of the employees and the public,” the mall said in a statement.

“The management is closely coordinating with the PNP of the current situation. Please bear with us as we allow with the authorities to handle the situation,” it added.

The mall management also urged the public to “exercise caution in sharing unconfirmed information online.”

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