Facilities of the Philippine Sports Commission will soon be turned into temporary medical units to help decongest hospitals, as the war against COVID-19 rages, with infections breaching the 1000-mark on Saturday.
PSC chairman William Ramirez disclosed that the two sports complexes of the government in Metro Manila — namely the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and the Philsports Complex in Pasig City — are both being surveyed by the Department of Public Works and Highways to assess how the different facilities inside may be used in line with the Department of Health’s requirements.
Ramirez shared that in light of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Orders in line with the COVID-19 fight, the PSC has volunteered the mentioned government facilities as venue options.
“They are government facilities, so we were already anticipating that it might come to that point,” explained the sports chief, adding that he has already discussed this with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Except for around 30 athletes and coaches, medical, and admin staff assisting them and security personnel guarding the complexes, national athletes have been asked to go home before the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.
Senior executive assistant and national training director Marc Velasco assured that the management committee of the PSC is already crafting plans to ensure that remaining athletes and personnel are secured and isolated from the areas to be taken-over.
“Thorough disinfection of the venues will be undertaken regularly and after their use,” assured Velasco.
“These times call for unselfish patriotism. These times call for everyone to be heroes, even,” added Ramirez.
“Let us step up to the plate, so to speak. This is us, the sporting community stepping up to bat.”
The venues being considered for use at the Philsports Complex are the Multi-Purpose Arena and the Track Oval.
Possible venues to be used at the RMSC are the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium, and the Rizal Baseball Stadium.
All these venues have been used before as evacuation or warehouse and repacking centers for relief goods.