Adapting to the pandemic

THE  pandemic has forced the government to come up with new plans to respond to health crisis and prepare for the new normal.

A key player in the plan is the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) which is behind the New Clark City project.

The New Clark City project is not only eyed to be the country’s first smart city but it is also planned to address gaps in healthcare facilities amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The BCDA was quick to mobilize its resources to help the government curb the spread of the virus. It also converted facilities in New Clark City and Clark Freeport Zone into quarantine facilities.

Along with other stakeholders, the agency was able to put up 2,500-bed capacity quarantine and treatment facilities in a few weeks.  The phase three is creating new facilities to help address the gaps.

Commending the BCDA is Julia Nebrija, manager of the Budget and Management(DBM) Assistance to Cities program. She said the team is flexible for hosting repatriated overseas Filipinos in the quarantine facilities in Clark, as well as dealing with COVID-19 testing.

“These were new challenges to the team and to have that flexible leadership and type of response allowed BCDA to be able to mount bed capacity of treatment and quarantine facilities in a matter of weeks,” she added.

Recently, BCDA president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon, who was appointed as test, trace, and treat or T3 czar, said the country has 66 testing laboratories from only one lab in March.

The testing capacity surpassed the 50,000 daily testing capacity target.

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Amid the pandemic meanwhile, the Philippine energy industry has been eyed by German companies during a virtual business-to-business  (B2B) networking recently.

Looking for partnerships in the Phlippines, German firms that participated the online B2B meetings were Ecoligo GmbH, which provides financing and delivering solar projects;  and Enerbar UG, which offers energy supply services for residential and commercial buildings including solar energy and energy storage system,  according to the German-Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI),

Other participants were Material Innovative Gesellschaft mbH, a manufacturer of energy-saving and environment-improving building materials; Meteocontrol GmbH, a provider of professional monitoring and control systems for photovoltaic power plants and solar parks; and Viessmann GmbH & Co. KG, a manufacturer of heating, industrial, and refrigeration systems.

The B2B networking is part of GPCCI’s German Energy Week with  discussions aiming to focus on energy efficiency, management, and operations in the country.

The Philippines offers interesting opportunities for improved energy conservation solutions and green sources of power generation.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed last year the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act to  promote the development and utilization of efficient energy technologies and systems.

Energy efficiency plays a major role in the country’s quest for self-sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said during the 5th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency of the International Energy Agency last week.

Cusi said energy efficiency can also play a vital role in a post-COVID-19 world.

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