Additional health care facilities at National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) in Mandaluyong City implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be turned over to the Department of Health (DOH) by the middle of September 2021.

DPWH Secretary and isolation czar Mark Villar said shipping containers repurposed into quarantine/isolation facility for mild and asymptomatic cases at NCMH compound will enable medical professionals to deal with the escalating numbers of COVID-19 infected persons in Metro Manila and in nearby provinces.

“The newly-built isolation facilities to accommodate more mild cases will effectively free up hospital beds which in the past days saw record high of new and active cases in moderate, critical or severe cases needing medical care,” Villar added.

“The 40 units of shipping containers were repurposed into temporary treatment and monitoring facility with 80 beds.”

In his report to the public works chief, Undersecretary Emil Sadain said that 40 units of standard 20 feet by 8 feet (6 meters by 2.4 meters) shipping container were repurposed by DPWH National Capital Region (NCR) – Metro Manila First District Engineering Office into temporary treatment and monitoring facility with 80 beds by dividing each container unit into two isolation rooms equipped with air conditioning system and toilet and bath on each room to effectively isolate and treat infectious individuals with the consideration of patients’ convenience.

“The isolation facility can function as a step-down facility for COVID-19 patients who have mild to moderate symptoms but recovering from the virus.”

“The isolation facility can also function as a step-down facility for COVID-19 patients who have mild to moderate symptoms but recovering from the virus and do not need consistent and immediate medical attention,” added Sadain, head of DPWH Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local/National Health Facility.

Using five additional shipping containers, the isolation facility also has separate rooms for hospital workers, a doctor/nurse station monitoring the condition of patients, a laboratory room, and an electrical room.

Other than the isolation facility, DPWH is also close to completing two cluster units of off-site dormitories for medical frontliners each with 24 fully air-conditioned rooms and double-decker beds with toilet and bath to accommodate 96 people.

The modular dormitories that will also be turned over by mid-September for the use of health workers manning the hospital operation features spaciously air-conditioned hallways, and living, dining, kitchen and laundry areas.

In preparation for the turnover, Sadain together with NCR Director Eric Ayapana, Bureau of Construction Director Aristarco Doroy, Metro Manila First District Engineer Medel Chua, and NCMH Hospital Operations and Patient Service Engr. Evelyn Purino recently inspected these projects for fine-tuning of works before transferring them to hospital management.

To meet the current health challenges, the Department is also setting up an additional six modular hospital units each with 22 rooms for a total capacity of 132 beds in a site also developed by DPWH within NCMH compound.

With the use of prefabricated components and offsite approaches in the construction of “pop-up” or modular hospitals to deliver efficient buildings for containing COVID-19 rapidly, the agency hopes to have the partial turnover of some units towards the end of September.

In response to the need to expand healthcare capacity, the DPWH thru the Task Force, has delivered the completion of 758 healthcare facilities with a total capacity of 28,102 are operational nationwide.

Completed were 685 quarantine/isolation facilities with 26,329 beds, 22 modular hospitals with 453 beds, and 51 off-site dormitories with 1,320 beds.


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