Mother Thecla Merlo Home (MTMH), the home of the sick and elderly sisters of the PMPT Province has been given a new lease of life amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Completed in 1993, the four-storey building located between the Queen of Apostles Sanctuary (QAS) and Alberione Home (residence of the Regina Apostolorum Community) in Pasay, underwent a general renovation this year.
Work started on January 27, 2020 under the capable team of Dimas Lim, Nigel de Vera and Carlito Adora. However, the renovation stopped for over three months (Mar 15 – June 20) due to lockdown imposed by Manila local government in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Renovation resumed on June 22 and ended on Oct 9. The blessing was held on Oct 25, after the Mass of the Divine Master by Fr. Paolo Asprer, ssp.
The renovation consisted of individual rooms being converted into wards on the second (two wards) and third (one ward) floors while the rooms on the ground floor are reserved for critical and terminally ill patients. All the toilets were changed. Vinyl tiles were replaced with porcelain tiles on the third and fourth floors. Cabinets, study tables and beds were repainted, and the laundry sink tiled. The refectory was enlarged with a little parlor for recuperating sisters. Some of the rooms on the fourth floor now serve as recovery rooms while others are for the infirmarian, the MTMH coordinator and the caregivers on duty. The nurse station and doctor’s room are located on the third floor.
Simultaneously, a walkway was constructed outside MTMH, from Alberione Home to QAS. The idea of having a covered walkway came up when the Health Care Team noticed the difference in the health condition of the sick and elderly sisters residing in MTMH when they were transferred to the work room (mezzanine) at the Alberione Home earlier this year while the MTMH was under renovation. They noticed that the sisters did not easily get sick (colds, cough, pneumonia) which was a common problem of the aged and sick sisters when they were exposed to different kinds of people coming from different places while in MTMH.
With the covered walkway, the MTMH could then be closed to the sisters using it as a passage way in going to the chapel. Moreover, the walkway was constructed in response to the government’s 1983 Accessibility Law that aims to enhance the mobility of disabled persons requiring buildings, institutions and establishments and public utilities to install PWD-friendly facilities.
Construction of the covered walkway started on June 1 and completed on Sept 5 by RIZHLE Construction and Development Corporation under Engr. Rizalind Ronquillo. Dubbed Mother Cleofe Zanoni Walkway, it was blessed earlier by Fr. Paolo Asprer, ssp in September. – Sr. Anna Yap