Galvez said the NPF Board of Trustees (NPFBT) has yet to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 for the construction of a mega vaccination site at the Nayong Pilipino.
“We do not wish to downplay the position taken by the NPF board, but it must surely know the urgency of the situation of our nation is confronting,” he said in a statement.
“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ago, everything that we do is a race against time,” added Galvez.
According to the NPFBT, they are apprehensive about the vaccination site construction since 500 trees needed to be cut down for the project.
The ICTSI Foundation would fund the construction of the vaccination and Felino “Jun” Palafox is the architect.
“[W]e believe it is inappropriate for the NPF to equate the fate of 500 Ipil-Ipil trees with the lives of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Filipinos,” said Galvez.
Galvez called on Nayong Pilipino to allow vaccination site construction
“Moreover, the proposed site of the facility is a reclaimed piece of land and not a protected forest or a marine sanctuary,” he added.
Galvez said the planned vaccination center would be able to facilitate around 10,000 individuals daily.
The Philippines seeks to vaccinate 500,000 individuals daily in the National Capital Region, and 200,000 individuals nationwide.
“We would like to emphasize that the government deeply cares for the environment. But as the pandemic wreaks havoc on the lives of our people and our economy, we have to make the choice,” said Galvez.
“‘Green and open spaces will be useless if there will be no one to visit them,” he added.
The Nayong Pilipino Foundation is a government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC) under the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Rolumo-Puyat had earlier expressed her support for the mega vaccination site project in Nayong Pilipino.