Malacañang

Malacañang tells Nayong Pilipino Board not to block mega vaccination site

Pia Ranada
Malacañang tells Nayong Pilipino Board not to block mega vaccination site

PROPOSED SITE. The site of the proposed mega vaccination site in a Nayong Pilipino-managed reclaimed lot in Parañaque City.

Photo from Nayong Pilipino website

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque tells Nayong Pilipino executives not to stand in the way of government's 'mission to protect lives' of Filipinos

President Rodrigo Duterte’s office told officials of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation not to stand in the way of the construction of a “mega vaccination site” to be built for the government by tycoon Enrique Razon’s  ICTSI Foundation.

Panawagan natin sa Board ng Nayong Pilipino, ito na naman po ’no, lahat po ng GOCC, nasa ilalim pa rin ng supervision ng ating Presidente at sana lahat ng mga desisyon nila ay huwag kokontra doon sa napaka halagang misyon na pangalagaan ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, May 10.

(Our call to the Board of Nayong Pilipino, all GOCCs are under the supervision of the President and we hope all their decisions do not go against the very important mission of protecting the lives of our countrymen.)

Roque said the government’s decision to use Nayong Pilipino’s land for the vaccination facility was “pursuant to the inherent police powers of the President.”

The spokesperson, however, said he did not know if Duterte has accepted the resignation of NPF Executive Director Lucille Karen Malilong Isberto.

A day before, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr issued a statement, asking the NPF Board to sign the memorandum of agreement so that construction can start. Galvez said they were prioritizing environmental concerns over the lives of Filipinos in need of COVID-19 vaccines.

Previously, Razon, chairman and chief executive officer of global port operator ICTSI, called the NPF Board members “idiots” for opposing the project.

The NPF, meanwhile, said they were open to the construction of a smaller vaccination facility and they wanted more studies undertaken on the design of the project, claiming the area was an “urban forest.”

They also raised concerns on the legality of ICTSI, a private corporation, building on government-owned land.

This was not the first time Malacañang has criticized Nayong Pilipino officials. In 2018, Duterte even fired all of its board members for approving a lease agreement with Chinese casino operator Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corp (LRPDC).

Duterte had found the lease agreement unfair to government and disapproved of a gambling facility constructed on government land. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.