THE 19th Davao City Council approved an ordinance allocating funds for the purchase of oxygen sets and establishment of an oxygen plant in the city worth P23 million.

The council passed on Tuesday, August 25, 2021, the ordinance on suspended rules, authorizing the City Government to utilize a portion of the 30-percent Quick Response Fund (QRF) out of the five percent Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund or Calamity Fund of the City Government for calendar year 2021 amounting to P66,593,437 for programs, projects and activities related to Covid-19-related response.

The ordinance authorizes the utilization of the disaster fund by reverting the amount of P12 million for the mobile surgical unit into purchasing 1,000 oxygen tanks with regulators, while P11 million will be allocated for the establishment of an oxygen plant complete with accessories and warehouse.

Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, committee chairperson on finance, ways and means, and appropriations, said the ordinance was in response to the request of the City Government during an online meeting on August 18.

Dayanghirang said the measure is in response to the growing number of Covid-19 positive cases and deaths despite containment effort and interventions.

“The records will show that the Delta variant is now present in the city and before it will overcome and overwhelm us, there is an urgent need to put in place all the essentials and requirements to mitigate the effects of the predominant virus and to further strengthen the city's coping mechanism against it,” the councilor said during the Council’s regular session.

As of August 24, the Department of Health-Davao Region (DOH-Davao) reported a total of 28 Delta variant cases were recorded in the region. Among these, 16 are from Davao City.

Dondee Eralino of the City Economic Enterprise (CEE) said during the session that the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) consumption during a surge indicates a shortage of 32 oxygen tanks per day or 967 tanks per month.

Eralino also said the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) also indicated a shortage of 1,008 tanks per day during the Covid-19 surge.

For private hospitals, it indicated a shortage of 433 tanks per day during a surge.

He said the total tanks needed during a Covid-19 surge is 1,473 tanks per day.

Eralino said there are about 2,400 oxygen cylinders available in all oxygen suppliers in the city.

The figure is according to the Patient Monitoring and Evaluation Cluster report based on the percentage of patients referred for hospitalization plus 50 percent during surge.

“I cannot recommend to get all the available oxygen cylinder tanks from the suppliers in Davao City for our exclusive use, for it will definitely create artificial shortage that will affect the supply in the neighboring city, municipality, and provinces,” Eralino said.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier bared the plans of establishing a city-owned medical oxygen plant, as it is bracing for a possible surge of Covid-19 cases due to the highly infectious Delta variant of the Sars-CoV-2.

Duterte-Carpio said securing ample medical oxygen supply in the city is among the things that have been discussed during their regular meetings with private hospitals and with the Department of Health.

The mayor said the city does not want to experience the shortages of oxygen tanks in India, Indonesia, and some parts of the Philippines.