No trees will be harmed in building of Nayong Pilipino vaccination hub – DOT
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday assured that no trees will be affected when the proposed “mega” vaccination center is constructed on the vast property of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) in Parañaque City.
DOT branded as “false” certain claims that some 500 trees will be cut to give way to the project, possibly destroying the “urban wildlife” in the area.
It then pointed out that no less than environmental planner and architect Jun Palafox will be involved in the design of the jab facility.
“This is false,” DOT said in a statement. “No trees will be affected.”
“Accordingly, the environment is of paramount consideration in the architectural plans,” it also said. “The architectural team has made sure to build the temporary vaccination facility around existing grasslands and trees.”
To recall, NPF Executive Director Lucille Karen E. Malilong-Isberto resigned last week due to a conflict with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat over the project, which would supposedly require cutting down about 500 trees at the NPF’s land in Entertainment City in Parañaque.
DOT likewise explained why it is dealing with the International Container Terminal Services Inc., which volunteered to build the vaccination center at no cost to the government.
“The DOT will have no involvement in the operations and management of the site,” DOT said, noting that such tasks were given to the Department of Health. “The only role of DOT was to facilitate the use of the NPF property because it is the mother agency of the NPF.”
It further said that the establishment of a vaccination hub on the vacant NPF lot is legal as it is aligned with Presidential Decree No. 1445 or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines, which states that “government funds or property shall be spent or used solely for public purposes.”
“The vaccination of thousands of Filipinos everyday is definitely for a public purpose; it is not a commercial venture,” DOT stressed.
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