City to push through with put up of Atab District Health Center

The city will be pushing through with the proposed construction and relocation of the Atab district health center to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of health care services to the city’s southwestern portion.        

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Pena stated that the city government took back from the public works department its earlier proposal to realign the P20 million for the expansion of the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit following the significant decline in the number of CoronaVirus Disease (COVID) 2019 cases in the city over the past one month and three weeks that already negated the need for the said expansion project.

He said that the local government’s earlier request to realign the said funds for the further expansion of the city’s isolation unit based at the former Sto. Nino hospital was still pending with the Office of the Public Works Secretary that is why city officials deemed it proper to withdraw the proposal and instead pursue the put up of the new Atab district health center which will be relocated along a portion of Marcos highway because its present location is within the road-right-of-way of the old Mount Sto. Tomas Road.

The proposed Atab district health center cum isolation center will be built within a portion of the 10-hectare property that was ceded by the agriculture department to the local government at the 94-hectare Baguio Dairy Farm to provide it a  better site for those living within the barangays covered by the operation of the center.

Earlier, the local government planned to realign the P20 million programmed for the put up of this district health center to expand the bed capacity of the former Sto. Nino hospital because of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the city reportedly triggered by the more infectious Delta variant and that such surge had been going on for the past one month and three weeks.

He claimed that the recent down trend in the COVID-19 cases in the city had rendered the proposed expansion of the city’s isolation center as no longer necessary as the occupancy rate had dropped to around 32 percent which means there are still many beds available for patients required to undergo isolation.

Aside from the city’s community isolation unit based at the former Sto. Nino hospital, the other isolation centers in the city are located at the Roxas and Hernandez halls of the Baguio Teachers Camp, the central triage isolation unit, the Ferioni apartment and the Laurel dormitory which is devoted for the isolation requirements of health care workers.

Moreover, the Magsaysay hall of the Baguio Teachers Camp is also being used as an exclusive isolation center for returning Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are required to complete their quarantine in a facility before they can rejoin their families. — Dexter A. See