CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Feb. 22 (PIA) -- Clark Development Corporation (CDC) highlighted its COVID response and recovery efforts.
CDC Vice President for Administration and Finance Mariza Mandocdoc said that as early as March 2020, Clark already started establishing a COVID facility for those who would be tested positive by converting a convention center inside the Freeport into a 150-bed COVID facility.
"Probably, we can say that what CDC did is one among the outstanding efforts taken by government. We have many special economic zones in the country, but probably we can say that it is Clark among the few ecozones that really established a COVID facility to address our problem related to the pandemic. And we established it much earlier on," Mandocdoc said.
The CDC official said this is coupled with the conversion of the National Government Administrative Center and Athletes' Village at New Clark City into a 300-bed quarantine and treatment facility, to further assist local government units (LGUs) within the Metro Clark area.
Mandocdoc added that CDC was also involved in recruiting frontline workers to manage the COVID facilities that were put up.
"Our Board approved the release of a total of PhP230 million to fund our COVID-related activities. At the height of the pandemic, we hired 300 additional project-based employees to assist us in COVID-related activities. Now, they are reduced to only about 110 employees," she said.
Part of the budget, the CDC exec said, was also utilized to provide medical supplies, food, and accommodation to their frontline workers and patients, especially during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), adding that their health workers are on regular swab schedule every 14 days.
She furthered that CDC also helped stranded passengers at Clark International Airport by bringing them to a hotel inside the Freeport paid for by government, and making sure that they eat three times a day.
Aside from that, CDC also volunteered to arrange for reduced rates of hotels in Clark for returning Filipinos while they are on quarantine.
"We also put up a COVID hotline for our locators, employees, and residents here in Clark so that if they have problems, if they have questions, somebody in the know can already answer," the vice president said.
The CDC exec also stressed the state-owned firm's strong partnership with the LGUs and its locators through regular coordination and immediate cascading of guidelines from the national government.
"We established protocols with LGUs as to who will be allowed entry and exit from the zone, and the documents needed for such movement. We also donate medical equipment to them like ambulances and x-ray machines," Mandocdoc said.
For the locators, she said CDC conducts regular monitoring especially of hotels and restaurants to ensure their compliance to the guidelines on the minimum public health standards.
"We allow them to continue to operate on very strict protocols on COVID prevention. They submit to us documents of what they will do in terms of physical arrangement, office changes, what are the protocols, who would be the people in charge," the CDC official said.
Lastly, in terms of economic recovery, Mandocdoc said they are requesting the Commission on Audit to waive payment of lease rentals of their locators during the ECQ period. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)