Needs first: Samar guv Tan converts Catbalogan tennis court into COVID isolation facility


TACLOBAN CITY – Despite criticisms on the proposed conversion of Catbalogan City lawn tennis court into a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) isolation facility, the Samar provincial government said the project will push through.

Samar Governor Reynolds Michael Tan said as an elected official, he is bound to fulfill his duty to save the lives and well-being of the many.

The governor said the local government has used all spaces adjacent to the Samar Provincial Hospital such as the provincial covered court, and the medical arts compound to provide more facilities for Covid-19 patients.

“After consultations with concerned agencies, exhausting all possibilities looking out for other spaces nearest to the hospital, it is with a heavy heart that we need to proceed in using the lawn tennis court as the only remaining option,” Tan said in a statement on Thursday.

The PHP13-million project, which started this week, is funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways. It is expected to be completed in less than two months.

Several groups and individuals from Catbalogan City hit the provincial government over this plan, citing the ground’s historical value and its proximity to residential houses.

“As the governor, it hurts me so much to argue over an issue which is clearly for the best interest of saving lives. We cannot afford to let the fate of those who urgently need shelter especially when they are in danger, rely on the dictates of sentimental reasons. Not during this time of pandemic when all our efforts are dedicated to control and contain from affecting us deeply. Let us not be selfish for this project to inch forward especially if in exchange, the government is building a new tennis court,” he added.

As of Thursday, Samar has 1,335 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 976 deaths and 15 deaths. (PNA)