CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr lauded military frontline workers for their dedication and service in manning the four COVID19 mega facilities in Metro Manila.

“The AFP takes pride in our military doctors, nurses, medical aid, support and security personnel who continue to operate and stand their ground in the battle against the COVID19 pandemic. They remain dedicated to their duties, risking their own wellbeing to ensure the safety of Filipinos affected by the dreaded disease,” General Santos said.

The AFP as one of the lead agencies in combatting the COVID19 pandemic was tasked to provide manpower for clinical and operational support to Mega Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities, and swabbing center in the country. A total of 382 composite military doctors, nurses, support, medical aid and security personnel are currently deployed to the facilities in World Trade Center (WTC), Ninoy Aquino Stadium (NAS), Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC) and Enderun Mega Swabbing Center (EMSC). 

The 502-bed WTC facility located in Pasay City is being manned by Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) composed of 87 medical personnel: 18 Medical Corps Officers, 30 Nurse Corps Officers and 39 Medical Aid Man. In addition, six Officers and seven Enlisted Personnel (EP) are tasked to man the Command and Admin Section.

The Task Group WTC CARE who leads the operation, in coordination with the Overseas Workers Welfare Association, and external linkages with other agencies was able to conduct admission, transfer and discharge of 385 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Of which, 62 are from United Arab Emirates and 323 from Maldives. 

The 112-bed NAS facility in Manila is being managed by 65 medical personnel from AFP Health Service Command. Augmenting the EMTs are six Medical Service Officers and seven EP as the Command Group.

The teams in NAS properly administered the admission of 132 COVID19 positive patients. Along this line, the facility conducted swabbing to test RT-PCR of the admitted patients and forwarded to proper medical research authorities, as well as managed radiology services to patients. Moreover, this quarantine facility has treated 108 COVID19 recovered patients.

The RMC facility in Manila which has 97 beds has a unique workforce composition. It is run by 41 emergency medical technicians comprised of four Medical Officers; three Dental Officers; 11 Nurse Corps Officers; three regular Ensign from the Philippine Navy who are professional nurses; four newly recruited EP nurses from the Philippine Army; and 16 EP serving as medical aid. It is still on its sixth day of operation and is presently catering and managing thirteen 13 COVID19 positive patients.

Meanwhile, the EMSC located in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City has a total of 54 swabbing booths that can accommodate a minimum of 900 clients in a day. The AFP deployed 50 personnel from the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy to operate the facility with complementary manpower from the BCDA, DOH, MMDA, DOLE, DPWH and National Security Council.

The facility opened on May 24 with the unique mission of arranging, collecting and transporting oral and nasopharyngeal swab specimen for COVID19 mass testing. It successfully administered the initial swabbing of 101 patients coming from the City of Taguig.

“The COVID19 pandemic is an enemy that requires a different form of sacrifice, commitment, and dedication. While our enemy is unseen and cannot be eliminated by anything in our armory, our greatest asset has and will always be our people. Our duty to the nation transcends all threats and we in the Armed Forces of the Philippines are capable of fulfilling our mandate to protect the people from all kinds of threats,” General Santos said.