Despite a Malacanang directive, the Nayong Pilipino Foundation led by executive director Lucille Karen E. Malilong-Isberto is digging its heels against the much-needed mega-vaccination facility proposed on its idle property in Entertainment City in Paranaque.
A day after Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum ordering the NPF to defer its plans for the property and give way to the more urgent of meeting the public health emergency purpose, Malilong-Isberto has put up more hurdles to delay the 12,000-a-day, temporary vaccination facility to be donated by bilyonaryo Ricky Razon through his ITSI Foundation.
In a May 5 letter to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, head of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID, Malilong-Isberto demanded that the mega-vaccine facility comply with all legal requirements, including auditing and making sure the Department of Health and not the private sector would operate the facility.
Malilong-Isberto also demanded that Duque and his biosecurity experts look into whether it was safe to put up the drive-through and walk-in vaccination facility near the quarantine facility operated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Malilong-Isberto, who was appointed to the NPF in 2019, also demanded that the mega-vaccination facility comply with all environmental laws, including obtaining permits and clearances.
Malilong-Isberto claimed that the nine-hectare, which was supposed to be the site of the aborted Landing Casino three years ago, was not a “vacant and idle lot” but a “thriving urban forest that hosts a variety of urban wildlife and is the last remaining grassland in the reclaimed area of Paranaque.”
She was adamant that any mega-vaccination facility should be designed “in an urban forest setting to bring a more holistic healing experience.”
Malilong-Isberto and NPF’s rabid opposition to the project has come amid the high number of COVID cases in the country and the critical need to vaccinate as many people as soon as possible to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the population and finally achieve herd immunity to open up the economy which plunged by 9.5 percent in 2020, the worst since 1947.