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BAGUIO CITY – The city will be pursuing the construction and relocation of the Atab district health center simultaneous with the increase in the bed capacity of the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit located at the former Sto. Nin֮o Hospital to help in improving the effective delivery of health care services and increase the capacity of the existing isolation centers in preparation to the emerging threat of the Delta variant.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Pen֮a stated that the funds for both projects are already available that is why the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) should fastrack the finalization of the detailed plans and specifications of the said projects.
From the previous increase of 150 beds in the city’s isolation unit, he disclosed that the local government can expand the bed capacity of the isolation center to around 167 that will make the facility have a total bed capacity of at least 520.
The local government currently operates and manages the operation of the BCCCIU which had an initial capacity of around 360 beds prior to the implementation of the expansion project.
On the other hand, the city plans to relocate the existing Atab district health center that was built along the old Mount Sto. Tomas Road to a portion of the 10-hectare property that was ceded to the local government by the agriculture department.
Earlier, the local government decided to use the P20 million previously allotted for the put up of the new Atab district health center to the expand of the city’s isolation facility because it is an urgent need following the emerging threat of the delta variant of the Corona virus Disease (COVID) 2019, while another P20 million will be used by the city for the construction and relocation of the aforesaid health center.
The Atab district health center is one of the 16 district health centers being managed and operated by the city government for the effective delivery of existing health care services to the various barangays within its area of coverage.
The city administrator explained that the local government wants to prioritize the expansion of the city’s isolation unit in preparation for the projected surge in COVID-19 cases that could be triggered by the more infectious Delta variant, thus, the realignment of the funds supposedly used for the put up of the Atab district health center to the further increase in the bed capacity of the existing isolation facility.
The Atab district health center had been found to have encroached in the road-right-of-way of the old Mount Sto. Tomas Road and had been programmed for demolition by the public works department and the local government wants to relocate this to a much better site to be able to accommodate its increasing number of clients seeking medical attention coming from the different barangays within its vicinity.
He expressed hope that the detailed plans and specifications of the city’s major projects will be completed the soonest so that the same will be scheduled for the conduct of public bidding to ascertain the contractor that will implement the said projects. By Dexter A. See