A Barangay Health Station (BHS) in the municipality of Moncada in Tarlac Province. (from moncadatarlac.gov.ph)

​Some 570 newly-constructed barangay health stations are being offered for free by a construction company to the Department of Health (DOH) as COVID-19 centers.

Julieanne Jorge, Director for Operations of JBros Construction Corporation said the structures were erected in 2016 and 2017, under a contract with DOH during the administration of then- president Benigno Aquino, III.

The barangay health centers measure 50 square meters each and can accommodate two to three beds with separate office space for the center’s health workers.

More than half of these 570 barangay health centers are spread in Central Luzon with 150 units, CALABARZON with 234 units, Metro Manila with 12 units, and Bicol region with 43 units.

“The DOH can use it as a headquarters maybe, or a testing center, a quarantine area, since it is located in the barangay level, the patients they don’t have to go to the hospital anymore,” he added, “It could limit the spread of the virus,” Jorge said.

Jorge is also requesting the health department to issue out the ₱P2.4 billion fund it deposited in the Land Bank of the Philippines in 2016 for this Barangay Health Station project.

The construction director further suggested that the DOH withdraw this amount and use it to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest Bayanihan as One Act allows President Rodrigo Duterte to redistribute government savings for funding of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical equipment and additional support for frontliners and health workers. (Jojo Mangahis)