‘Don’t be complacent amid the pandemic’

Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Director Lea Delfinado (3rd from left) together with (from left) Bacolod City Administrator Em Ang, Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya, and DPWH Bacolod District Engineer Jaime Javellana in the ceremonial ribbon cutting during the turnover of the isolation/quarantine facility. The facility, which has 32 airconditioned rooms with hot/cold shower, is located at Barangay Alijis here.

By Dolly Yasa


Bacolod City – Top city officials here enjoined the residents on Friday not to be complacent against the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) despite the downtrend in cases.

Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya issued the call Friday during the turnover of 32 additional COVID-19 isolation rooms constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-6) Regional Office at Barangay Alijis here.

With Leonardia and Gasataya during the ceremonies were DPWH Regional Director Lea Delfinado, DPWH Bacolod District Engineer Jaime Javellana, Councilor Renecito Novero, City Administrator Em Ang, and Dr. Cris Sorongon of the Emergency Operations Center.

“COVID is still there, it is still a precarious situation,” the mayor said.

He cited the situation in Manila and Cebu where he noted an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

“We have to contain COVID, but I hope this will not make us think that we are safe, it may give is a wrong sense of security, in a pandemic there is no room for complacency,” Leonardia said in reaction to observation that the city will have no need of the additional isolation and quarantine facility.

Gasataya said that “the challenge is still here.”

He urged everyone to continue to observe basic health protocol to safeguard each other from the virus.

The newly completed isolation facility completes the 64-room facility that the DPWH constructed for Bacolod City.

The facility cost P50 million and is located in what used to be the plant nursery of the City Agriculture Office in Barangay Alijis.

Leonardia said he had lobbied for the 64 isolation rooms last year with DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.

It was favorably endorsed by DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain and DPWH regional director Engr. Lea Delfinado.

The first 32 isolation rooms, which cost P25 million, were constructed from August 14 to October 15, 2020 and were turned over to the city on October 30, 2020.

Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, who is also Malacañang’s “chief testing czar,” led the inauguration.

The 32 additional isolation rooms, also costing P25 million, were constructed from December 29, 2020 to March 12, 2021.

The whole project has 4 container-type isolation sets. Each set comes with 16 rooms furnished with individual air conditioners and comfort rooms, a nurse’s station, a utility room, separate medical staff quarters with comfort rooms for male and female, sanitation area, water tanks, and standby generator.