MANILA - The plans for the mega vaccination site in Parañaque are modular and no trees will be cut down, architect and urban planner Felino "Jun" Palafox Jr., said on Thursday.
This, after the Nayong Pilipino Foundation raised several questions about building a mega COVID-19 vaccination facility on the park's property, including possible destruction of an urban forest.
“Our design is modular, scalable. It can be replicated in 44,000 barangays, basketball courts with cover. About the trees, I cannot comprehend all the issues being raised now because my guidance to our team is to preserve the trees and in fact, we were given a much larger area. When I saw some trees would be affected ,we transferred the drive thru facility to the road seaside drive to preserve those trees,” Palafox said in an interview on ANC’s Matters of Fact.
The architect said his firm, which was tapped to design the facility, is not getting paid for the project.
“Not a single cent. That’s why I call it patriotic, philanthropic architecture for the whole world,” he said.
Palafox said it was NPF that gave them the site, which included two 5,000 square meter lots. He added that the Department of Public Works and Highways was constructing side structures, limiting them only to the 5,000 square meters which was not enough.
“Because the target is 10,000 persons a day will be vaccinated. So the drive thru we brought it out to the road right of way and then the vaccination center turns to Mega World, they offered 10,000 square meters where we will put a parking for access so that these biorefrigeration trucks can pass through there,” he said.
They said they adjusted their plans several times as the mega vaccination facility was supposed to be operational by May 15.
“After we’ve done the plans about 90 percent, then we discovered there were so many obstructions on the site and we had adjusted the plans 7 times. Without these obstructions from some people, May 15, on Sunday, it would already have been operational,” he said.
Atty. Lucielle Karen Malilong-Isberto, former NPF executive director, said the state-run park operator required strict compliance with all laws before constructing such facility on reclaimed government land.
“As far as I know we are preserving the trees and according to Secretary Berna [Romulo-Puyat] or DOT it was Nayong Pilipino who offered it because the area was supposedly deserted. After we presented to Sec. Berna we have to deal only now with the private sector philanthropies, and the government side, the Department of Tourism, will do all the coordination,” he said.
He added: “The legalities I have nothing to do with it. I’m not a lawyer. Supposedly, the government, among themselves, coordinating.”
He stressed that the delay is not only affecting them but also the Filipino people who would benefit from the mega vaccination center.
“We, as designers are sufferers and the philanthropy donors. Second sufferer is the truth. The third sufferer are the 10,000 vaccinees per day,” he said.
If allowed to push through, Palafox said their design can now be implemented while making adjustments.
“Operational, let the engineers answer that. But our design can be completed by Tuesday, 90 percent complete already, the 10 percent are adjustment,” he said.