BCDA, DoST eye Clark virology institute

NEW CLARK CITY — The Department of Science and Technology and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority is set to construct the country’s premier virology research institute here as part of government’s thrust to strengthen the Philippine’s wall of protection against infectious diseases.

Dubbed as the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines, the facility will be constructed in a five-hectare land inside the New Clark City that was identified and earmarked under a Memorandum of Agreement signed between the two government agencies.

“BCDA recognizes the value of this virology research center in our battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as any other infectious diseases which may endanger us in the future. That is why the BCDA entered into this arrangement with DoST for a property in New Clark City, which will host this significant institution,” BCDA president and chief executive officer Aileen Zosa said.

Under the agreement, the BCDA will allocate five-hectare parcel of land in New Clark City to the DoST for 50 years, with Zosa citing that the period can be extended by another 25 years.

The site development and construction of the VIP facilities shall be financed by the DoST, and completed within six years from the signing of the agreement.

The agreement also states that the DoST will submit within six months from the signing a Comprehensive Development Plan for the property, which must comply with the New Clark City Comprehensive Development Master Plan, and Design Standards and Guidelines.

This ensures that the property will adhere to principles of smart, sustainable and safe design.

The VIP complex shall comprise the following: Administration building, lecture hall, good manufacturing product building, human and animal virology laboratory, plant virology laboratory, animal isolation, Biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratory building, plant cultivation area, dormitory, power station, and a sewage treatment plant.

The two agencies are still waiting for Congress to pass the bill for the proposal of the establishment of the said VIP.

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