Davao City Council passes ordinance establishing city-owned oxygen plant

SunStar Davao photo
SunStar Davao photo

THE 19th Davao City Council passed an ordinance for the establishment and construction of a city-owned and operated oxygen concentration plant with a cylinder refilling system.

The ordinance was passed under suspended rules on Tuesday, November 10.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, committee chairperson on health and ordinance proponent, said in the ordinance that the city-owned and operated oxygen concentration plant aims to increase the overall oxygen production capacity in the city.

The objectives of the ordinance also include establishing "an oxygen supply line for medical applications that can be expanded to commercial and industrial applications after the current pandemic has abated."

Owning and operating an oxygen concentrating plant capable of refilling oxygen cylinders will also be usable by hospitals, temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs), commercial establishments, and industries in the city.

The plant would be eyed as a potential revenue-generating unit after being used as a Covid-19 pandemic mitigation measure.

The ordinance also states that the establishment and construction of the plan will be subject to applicable zoning and land use laws.

The medical oxygens will also be subject to licensing and registration requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other requirements of the Department of Health (DOH).

The mayor said in an interview on Monday, November 8, that the city will still pursue the construction of the oxygen plant amid the continuous downtrend of Covid-19 cases in the city.

"We hope na dili na siya magamit because wala nay surge na mahitabo. Kung duna may surge, walay magkulang sa supply sa oxygen," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

(We hope that we will not be able to use this since there is no surge in Covid-19 cases anymore. But in case there is a surge, we won’t be short in oxygen supply.)

Aside from the oxygen plant, she said the city would also maintain the city-owned crematorium even if the pandemic is over.

In September, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio bared the city's plan of establishing an oxygen plant in response to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the city, reportedly due to the emergence of the highly infectious Delta variant.

The mayor said securing ample medical oxygen supply in the city is among the local government's responses to the rising number of cases, resulting in the higher demand for oxygen tanks.

The 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 in late August 2021.

The breakdown for the P23-million oxygen supply fund is composed of P12 million for the purchase of 1,000 oxygen tanks with regulators for the mobile surgical unit and P11 million for the establishment of an oxygen plant complete with accessories and warehouse.

The mayor said the planned oxygen plant would rise near the city government-run slaughterhouse in Barangay Ma-a.

She said the construction of the oxygen plant in Davao City will not be happening anytime soon due to “procedural requirements of government procurement."

"In reality, sa (when it comes to) government procurement, medyo dugay-dugay gyud na (it takes time), and naa gyud na siya'y time period nga taas (it has a long time period),” Duterte-Carpio said in a previous interview. RGL


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