MANILA - Frontliners of The Medical City (TMC) may now use the MetroTent Convention Center in Pasig as a temporary home for free as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic, former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson said Monday.

Singson, who owns the facility, said he partnered with Lopez firm First Philippine Holdings (FPH) Corporation and its construction arm First Balfour to turn MetroTent into a 120-bed accommodation for health workers.

“Masaya ako at nakatulong tayo mabigyan ng lunas ang problema ng marami nating bayani sa TMC na nahihirapan mag-commute papasok sa TMC at pauwi ng kabahayan nila dahil sa kawalan ng public transport sa panahon ng ECQ [enhanced community quarantine],” Singson said in a statement.

(I'm happy that we were able to resolve the problems of our many heroes at the TMC who were finding it difficult to commute to the hospital and their homes due to the lack of public transport during the enhanced community quarantine.)

"Kulang pa nga itong alok ko upang matumbasan ang kabayanihan ng mga empleyado ng TMC na sinusugal ang mga buhay nila sa paggamot ng mga pasyenteng tinamaan ng malakas makahawang sakit na COVID-19."

(My offer is not enough to compensate the heroism of TMC employees, who put their lives on the line to attend to COVID-19 patients.)

The private hospital placed its own COVID-19 protocols in the facility to assure the safety of its staff, Singson said.

First Balfour provided individual tents for female medical staff, while male employees may use mattresses, pillows, and blankets, he added.

The hospital's employees can also keep contact with friends and family through the internet service provided by Sky Cable, another member of the Lopez Group.

“My commendation also goes to FPH subsidiaries First Gen Corporation and Energy Development Corporation, which shared the cost not only of MetroTent’s retrofitting, but also the cost of providing food and even free wifi for the TMC employees there," Singson said.

Earlier this month, the hospital temporarily closed its services to coronavirus-related illnesses as it reached full capacity.