PARAÑAQUE CITY (12 AUGUST 2021) — In a bid to ramp up the country’s COVID-19 vaccination  rate, the national government, city government of Parañaque, and International Terminal Container Services, Inc. (ICTSI) launched on Thursday the Solaire ICTSI Foundation, Inc. Vaccine Center (SIVC) located here at the Bagong Nayong Pilipino.

According to Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, the facility will not only cater to the city’s residents, but will also accommodate those coming from other areas.

“Wala pong pipiliin dito sa vaccination center, para po sa bawat Pilipino,” Olivarez said, adding that the city’s indigent population will be given priority at the facility.

“Ang balak po ng ating mga LGU, sila po ay isha-shuttle po papunta rito para magkaroon po yung A5 natin, yung indigent (population) ng vaccination,” the mayor added.

The combined ambulatory and drive-thru vaccination hub can accommodate up to 15,000 vaccinations per day depending on the supply of vaccines and the number of recipients, said ICTSI Executive Vice-President Christian Martin R. Gonzalez

“The initiative of course is driven by the national government and the city of Paranaque. We, as part of (the) private sector group, are only participating in terms of funding and organization,” Gonzales said.

“But this sits on government land, it will remain government land, and will be operated under the guidance of the national and city government,” he added.

Gonzalez said the national government has initially allocated 50,000 Moderna vaccine doses for the facility.

Currently, only the facility’s drive-thru vaccination hub is operational. Its ambulatory service for walk-ins will be open by September.

Meanwhile, Secretary Vivencio Dizon, testing czar and National Task Force against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer, noted that the contractor of the vaccination hub took into careful consideration the environmental impact of the facility’s construction.

“Wala ni isang puno ang pinutol dito sa Nayong Pilipino. ‘Yung mga puno dito na-preserve… kahit na kailangan nating magtayo ng ganitong facility, inaalagaan pa rin natin ang environment natin,” Dizon said.

For his part, Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., vaccine czar and National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer, said he was pleased with the opening of the mega vaccination hub, which he described as a game-changer in the government’s fight against COVID-19.

“The facility will definitely encourage more people to get inoculated, especially those coming from Metro Manila and our nearby provinces like Cavite, Batangas, and Laguna,” Galvez said.

Drive-thru vaccination facility in Nayong Pilipino now operational

“Taos-pusong po kaming nagpapasalamat sa pribadong sektor na naging katuwang ng pamahalaan sa pagtatayo ng Nayong Pilipino mega vaccination hub at drive thru facility na ito, lalung-lalo na sa International Container Terminal Services, Inc. na pinamumunuan ni Mr. Enrique Razon at sa Megaworld Corporation na nirerepresenta ni Mr. Kevin Andrew Tan. Napakalaki ng tulong nito dahil this is an additional volume at ito ay initiative ng private sector at national government.

I would like to thank [Tourism] Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, for initiating and helping us in putting [up] this drive-thru and ambulatory mega vaccination site,” he said.

Tourism Secretary  Rolumo-Puyat supported the project and endorsed it to the Nayong Pilipino Foundation, which is a government-owned and -controlled corporation, under the Department of Tourism.

The private sector through ICTSI and Megaworld built the facilities making it another testament of the Filipino Bayanihan spirit.

The vaccine czar also expressed confidence that the country’s vaccination throughput will continue to increase with the expected arrival of larger vaccine shipments this August.

“We can assure that we have a steady supply for August. We are expecting to receive 22 million to 25 million (doses this month),” Galvez said.

As of August 12, a total of 41,515,350 COVID-19 vaccine doses coming from different manufacturers have arrived in the country. END