The Quezon City government announced that the Smart Araneta Coliseum, also known as the Big Dome, has been identified as one of the city’s mega vaccination sites. Inoculations are expected to begin there on Saturday.
Mayor Joy Belmonte stated that the Araneta Group has agreed to allow the city the use of its facility in solidarity with the city’s goal of rolling out COVID-19 vaccines to priority groups faster.
"We estimate that the Big Dome will be capable of delivering 1,000 to 1,500 COVID shots per day," said Belmonte.
She added that measures for indoor settings, such as proper filters and fan systems for adequate ventilation, will be installed to ensure the safety of everyone who plan to get their jabs at the facility.
"The QC LGU is grateful to the Araneta Group for offering the Big Dome to this program for free. It is a suitable site for a massive and critical government health drive since it offers adequate space and accessibility to both our healthcare workers and the public," Belmonte said.
"This will help us strengthen our efforts to provide our QCitizens the protection they need against COVID-19. The faster we vaccinate our people, the sooner we can achieve economic recovery," the Mayor added.
Quezon City LGU and Araneta Group officials conducted an ocular inspection at the Araneta Coliseum on May 13. Photo from QC PIO.
Further, Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) Head Margie Santos said the Araneta Group also committed to provide their own medical personnel who will help inoculate people 60 years and older and individuals with serious health conditions or those belonging to A1 to A3 priority groups.
"We're grateful to our partners in the private sector as they continue to work with us in order to provide us with spacious and comfortable venues and to augment our manpower resources," said Santos.
She added that the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation Philippines, a non-profit charitable organization, is also helping by sending their volunteer doctors, nurses, and staff to QC vaccination sites.
Belmonte said she looks forward to the success of this partnership similar to the partnerships crafted earlier on as “we need an all-of-city approach to overcome Covid 19 and ensure the speedy recovery of our economy.”
The city earlier partnered with the Araneta Group in expanding its free COVID-19 swab testing initiatives. Araneta City was tapped since fourth quarter of 2020 as a venue for the local government's free RT-PCR tests for the general public.
The company also allowed the free use of the Araneta City BusPort as an accessible site for the drive-thru COVID-19 RT-PCR saliva testing of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). The site, which opened in February 2021, offers a painless and less invasive method of collecting samples, and reduces person-to-person contact in COVID-19 testing.
"We are very pleased to accommodate the QC LGU's vaccination campaign inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This is our contribution to the government’s efforts to control the surge of COVID-19 cases in the city and to improve public health," according to Antonio T. Mardo, SVP for Operations of the Araneta Group.