Unreturned after 108
years, clamor for Balangiga Bells resounds
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
Today, the people of Balangiga, about one and a half hour away from
Tacloban, commemorate the 108th Anniversary of the Balangiga
As in previous years,
hundreds of people are expected to flock to the municipality of
Balangiga in order to witness the commemoration rites of the event in
which revolutionaries almost wiped out the entire American detachment
posted in the area at the time.
program which has become a regular undertaking of the municipality of
Balangiga and the province of Eastern Samar, will once again be held
at the municipal plaza where the P6 million Balangiga Encounter
Monument and Memorial Library designed by National Artist Napoleon
Abueva now stand as a reminder of the encounter which clearly shows
the Filipinos’ love for democracy and independence.
As in previous years,
the solitary wish is for the bells of Balanginga to be returned to its
original and rightful owner, the
The Bells of Balangiga which are now at the "Trophy Park"
of the Warren Airforce Base in Wyoming, belong to the Church for the
use of the people of Balangiga.
Indeed, the return of
the Balangiga Bells will enhance the relationship between the
Philippines and United States as the gesture will be a manifestation
that the United States cares for the Filipino heritage.
representation was made by the Philippine delegation led by former
President Fidel Ramos and Ambassador Raul Rabe and supported by some
American legislators, resulting in a compromise position, namely, to
have the two bells recast and then give one original and one replica
to each country. This is the position that is accepted and supported
by the members of the United States Catholic Conference (USCC). The
Diocese of Borongan, with much reluctance, agreed to this arrangement.
However, to this date,
the Balangiga Bells remain in
Perhaps, cooperative efforts should be strengthened so that the wish
of the people of Balangiga, at last, becomes a reality.
DepEd issues new
guidelines on honor students’ selection
By Philippine Informatin Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Education has issued new guidelines on the selection of
honor students in the primary and secondary levels nationwide.
Through DepEd Order
92, series of 2009, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus informed that the
candidate for honors at any grade or year level shall be drawn from
the Top 10 pupils or students of the school. Likewise, the candidates
for honors must not have a final grade lower than 80 percent in any
“To determine the Top
10 pupils or students, they shall be ranked using the 7-3 scheme which
means 7 points for academic performance and 3 points for co-curricular
activities, while their grades in the previous curriculum level shall
not be considered in the ranking of honors for graduating pupils or
students,” Secretary Lapus stated in the order.
The new DepEd Order
also stated that a final rating of a student shall be computed to the
three decimal places. In case of a tie, either of the candidates shall
be given the same honors, whatever the rank, may it be valedictorians,
salutatorians, or first honorable mentions, may be.
Included in the new
guidelines is the provision that all candidates for honor must be of
good moral character, and have not been subjected to any disciplinary
actions within the current year.
The revised guidelines
also give recognition to achievements of pupils and students in
specific subjects such as mathematics, science, and English or in
co-curricular activities such as athletics, performing arts, and
Unlike in the past
when transferees are not even considered for honors, especially the
top honor, the new guidelines provide that transferees shall be
considered. This is now possible, provided the student or students
were enrolled in the school not later than the second week of classes
in the current school year.
annexes of public elementary and secondary schools with complete
curriculum grades or year levels are now allowed by DepEd to choose
their own set of school children with honors.
The School Selection
Committee with the school principal as chairman, with three qualified
teachers as members, is required to officially announce the selected
honor pupils or students not later than 15 days before the school’s
Graduation Day, the DepEd Order also stated.
The revised guideline
provides that any member of the selection committee must not be
related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to any
of the candidates for honor.
Philhealth assured of
P5 billion in fresh funding – Gullas
By Office of Rep. Eduardo R. Gullas (1st District,
QUEZON CITY –
Members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) can now
sleep better at night.
Cebu Rep. Eduardo
Gullas said the state-run national health insurer is assured of
another P5 billion in fresh funding in the proposed P1.541-trillion
General Appropriations Act of 2010.
"We must stress that
this extra P5 billion is not a subsidy. This is meant to pay the
national government’s arrears to Philhealth," Gullas said.
Gullas explained that
as employer of 1.4 million civil servants, the government is required
by law to provide them Philhealth coverage, and pay for 50 percent of
their premium contributions.
"The P5 billion is
intended to pay the government’s outstanding employer counterpart
contributions to Philhealth," he pointed out.
Gullas said the
P5-billion allotment for 2010 is on top of the P5 billion that
Congress set aside this year for the government’s Philhealth dues, and
the P1.45 billion earmarked in 2008 for the same purpose.
"With the additional
funding, government workers as well as other Philhealth members are
assured of adequate health insurance protection," Gullas said.
Gullas has been urging
the government to set a positive example for private entities that are
obliged to protect their workers and dutifully pay and remit their
mandatory contributions to Philhealth.
Philhealth vice president for actuary, had told a Senate hearing that
the government owed the national health insurer P19.2 billion,
representing unpaid contributions for the mandatory coverage of civil
Santiago had warned
that unless the dues are paid right away, Philhealth could become
insolvent in seven years.
Secretary Rolando Andaya later disputed
claim, saying the national government owed Philhealth only P9 billion.
"Whatever the absolute
amount owed by the government, what is important is that Philhealth is
already assured of getting another P5 billion," Gullas said.
"This should keep the
government’s outstanding balance at a level where it won’t put at risk
Philhealth’s financial stability, and at a level where the National
Treasury won’t find it even more difficult to pay Philhealth later
on," he said.
P100 to P750 in monthly premiums from every public and private sector
worker, with 50 percent of the amount paid for by the employer. In
return, workers get health insurance coverage through accredited
Gullas renewed his
call for Philhealth to promptly curb its financial losses due
fraudulent and padded claims.
Philhealth has been
losing up to P4 billion annually to fictitious or overstated claims,
mostly involving syndicates in cahoots with unscrupulous health
Civil Service orders
Taft municipal employees to go back to work
By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern
Samar – The four long years in agony of a jobless life, with some
degree of humiliation is over for the 25 municipal employees of Taft
Local Government Unit (LGU).
This, after Civil
Service Commission (CSC) decreed the employees to return to their
respective jobs as specified in CSC Resolution 091197 dated August 10,
No less than Atty.
Flordeliza Algas, CSC Assistant Regional Director 08 with her Legal
Team came a long way from Tacloban City Regional Office to implement
on September 23, 2009 the said Resolution, in the very office of Mayor
Francisco “Atching” Adalim.
Former Judge Leo Apita
(for his son Raymund who was counsel of the 25) called the roll to
verify the physical presence of each returning employee, and as the
roll call continued, many looked misty eyed in self-assurance that the
agony was near ending.
But the silent and
tensed atmosphere of Mayor Adalim’s office turned like a jubilant
birthday celebration when he uttered his consent and agreed to the CSC
ruling, to reinstate the 25. The clapping and shouting went on as
Adalim continued to shake hands which each of his “lost and found”
team mates which signaled a warm welcome and reconciliation.
“Iton mga babaye, sige,
balik hira ha ira mga dati nga trabaho, pero an mga lalaki, mayda ko
anay iglilihog nga iba, labi kay nababaraka ako nga maapektaran kita
hit Dengue. Tapos naman it pulitika, aalagad kamo kun ano it yada hit
balaud,” (The women may go back to their previous works but the men, I
have a specific order for them because I am worried Dengue might
affect us here. Politics is over, just abide by the law). Jorge Orita
who is I.O. of the LGU will just have to continue as well, with his
original information work“, Mayor Adalim so ruled.
Atty. Algas was glad
at the Mayor’s decision but she advised them to work honestly for the
improvement of the municipality and follow orders within the bounds of
the CS laws.
The order added that
the employees who were previously charged will “be paid of their
salaries and benefits effective August 2005 up to their actual
“This is both a
blessing and a triumph to us,” said CDIO Orita. “But it also pains
me, that my friend, Planning Officer Irma Daiz did not see this
victory of ours. (Daiz died in Manila about two years after they were
suspended. She was about to graduate from a Makati nursing school when
she was rushed to Makati Med but did not recovered at all). But we
still thank the Lord for granting our prayers. Now, many of us can
send our children back to school,” he said.
“That is now ‘water
under the bridge’ and everything is now settled; we will move on!”
Grace Lim, Municipal Budget Officer seemed thanked the Heavens. She
hopes further that Sangguniang Bayan will prioritize their back wages
In finality, the
returning employees with all smiles chorused, “Thank you, Mayor!” and
did not fail to sign the day’s log book...never again!
Gibo to grace 108th
Balangiga Encounter Commemoration Day
By MARIA KONICA CATAPANG
Samar – To give an air of military significance to one of the
bravest acts of Filipinos during World War II, Secretary of National
Defense Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro will lead the 108th commemoration of
the Balangiga Encounter Day on September 28, an annual event that
seeks to honor the memory of the Eastern Samareños who fought against
the Americans in what was dubbed US’ “worst single defeat” in history.
This year’s guest of
honor and speaker, the LAKAS-KAMPI-CMD presidentiable is also set to
lead the wreath-laying ceremony before the statue of Capt. Valeriano
Abanador, who led the town’s people during a surprise attack against
the soldiers of Company C, 9th US Infantry Regiment. To join Secretary
Teodoro during the festivities are Eastern Samar Governor Ben P.
Evardone and Mayor Viscuso de Lira of Balangiga.
“We are indeed very
happy and honored to have Secretary Teodoro with us as we mark another
year of Balangiga Encounter anniversary. Many Balangiganons idolize
him, that’s why I’m sure his presence would make a lasting impression
in our town.”
Aside from Sec.
Teodoros’s awaited message, another highlight of the commemorative
celebration is a dance-drama presentation by the Balangiga Lingganay
Performing Group, a famous performing arts group composed of talented
young Estehanons. Their presentation will depict the historic and
victorious fight for freedom of the Balangiganons.
It was the dawn of
September 28, 1901 when hundreds of native fighters some dressed as
women, wielding bolos staged a successful surprise attack that killed
more than 40 American soldiers. However, a brutal counter-offensive
was quickly launched by the American forces, killing thousands of
Balangiga residents, and leaving this town in ruins.
Upon leaving, the
American forces also took with them the town’s historic church bells
which the town fighters’ used to signal the surprise attack against
the American soldiers.
To this day the U.S.
Army continues to refuse the Philippine government’s numerous and
continuous efforts to bring the three bells back to the country.
Presently, the two
bigger bells are displayed at the Trophy Park at the F.E. Warren Air
Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming; while the smallest bell is on
permanent display at the Traveling Museum of the 9th US Infantry, now
stationed in Korea.
monitors election hotspots in East Visayas
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine National Police continues to monitor
and assess the provinces, cities and municipalities in Eastern Visayas
for election-related violent incidents months before next year’s
In a conference with
the local media, the PRO 8 officials led by Director Mario San Diego
and the Police Relations Officers of the various provinces and cities
in Region 8, PIDR Leopoldo N. Bataoil of the Directorate for Police
Community Relations, said that the PNP in the Region is now in the
process of assessment and based on the assessment, make
Police Regional Office
8 Director Mario San Diego disclosed that the PNP has “historical”
data based on the 2004 and 2007 elections.
Director San Diego
informed that a review of the list is necessary to find out if there
is a need to include other areas.
“We are conducting
continuing assessments on areas of concern and areas of immediate
concern, and making recommendations so we can plan ahead with the
deployment of forces,” Director San Diego said.
assessment of the prevailing situation in all election areas of
concern will be subject to continuous validation and review,” he
He intimated that the
recommendation may be for the pull out of the entire police force in a
particular area and swap it with the entire force from another area or
reinforce the police force with the addition of men from the Police
For his part, PIDR
Leopoldo N. Bataoil informed that before an area is considered an
election hotspot, several factors will be considered, like the history
of election-related violent incidents in past elections; the existence
of intense political rivalry between contending parties; the possible
employment of partisan armed groups by candidates in the area, and the
presence of domestic threat groups.
The PNP can only make
recommendations to the Comelec which is the one in charge on election
matters, he added.
Earlier, PNP chief
Director General Jesus Verzosa has ordered a review of the list of
election areas of concern to serve as a guide in the deployment of
personnel and resources.
“This will serve as a
reference or point of consideration in operational planning such as
deployment of security forces, structuring of local
PNP units, and availability of resources,” he stated in
Based on records, only
Samar province and five municipalities and one city under it, has been
consistent election hotspots in the 2001, 2004 and 2007 elections. The
Samar LGUs are Calbayog City, Matuguinao, San Jorge, San Jose de Buan,
Sta. Margarita and Tarangnan.
First LGU trade cum
cultural fair at newest EV mall earns raves from various sectors
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
The first ever LGU trade cum cultural fair at Robinsons’ Place, the
Kahimo-Kahimu’, of Tanauan, Leyte which ran for one whole week
successfully ended with a bang on Sunday, September 20.
presentation at the mall’s front parking area drew a big crowd with
the students of the Tanauan National High School performing their
spectacular presentation during the Palarong Pambansa in Leyte last
This was followed by a
special cultural presentation at the Mall’s Activity Area where
talented Tanauananons gave a well-applauded presentation. Among the
homegrown talents of Tanauan was Rick Cumpio who is on vacation
because of the Ramadan in Dubai where he works as an entertainer.
Also among the talents
are grand finalists in the ICOT IDOL who are from Tanauan, Honey Renz
Molon, Arlene Tejano and Rosemarie Modesto. The young dancers from
Tanauan who were champion in the HipHop Dance Contest at the Araneta
Center late last year were also featured. The Saint Michael Choir
under the baton of Danny Lerios also presented five songs as their
last performance before they leave for Hongkong as guest performers.
Onlookers gave good
raves on Tanauan’s Trade cum Cultural Fair. Among the crowd were
Tanauananons who are now living in
and who happen to be in town. Back to back during the presentation is
the display and selling of Tanauan products like handicrafts,
skimboards for the water sports enthusiasts, bamboo craft, bamboo
furniture, Tanauan tuba and Tanauan vinegar from coconut which are
abundant in Tanauan.
A young Tanauan artist
was also around to sell his paintings and to charcoal paint the
interested guests. The binagol delicacy from Tanauan was also
available and on special request, the famous Tanauan Lechon was made
available at the Guztavian Restaurant inside the mall.
Ms. Leni de Veyra who
is an officer of the La Fraternidad Tanauanena in Manila said she is
lucky to be around and witness the Kahimo-Kahimu’ which every
Tanauananon must be proud of.
Other guest from all
over the Region commended the local government of Tanauan for coming
up with a week-long trade and cultural fair with daily presentations
of Pasaka Festival and musical presentations at the Activity Area.
Tanauan Mayor Roque A.
Tiu acknowledged the various producers from Tanauan who exhibited
their products, the young presentors from the different schools in
Tanauan, the choral groups, the Balinsasayaw Singers which never fails
to bring honor to Tanauan, the school administrators, the supportive
staff of the LGU, the media and the provincial government of Leyte
headed by Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla.
Mayor Tiu gave special
acknowledgement to the management of the Robinsons’ Place in Tacloban
for making possible the use of the mall activity area at no cost to
He expressed hope that
the other LGUs in Leyte will also find time to exhibit their products
at Robinsons’ and that Robinsons’ will also give the other LGUs the
same opportunity given to the municipality of Tanauan.
Southern Leyte PPOC
moves to have police, army secure Agas-Agas
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC)
in this province has passed a resolution requesting for a permanent
police and military detachment to man the province’s newest tourist
attraction, Agas-Agas bridge in Sogod, along with its facilities and
In a meeting held
Wednesday at the Governor’s Office, the PPOC body, on mass motion,
approved to request the regional Philippine National Police (PNP)
office, through SSupt. Pepito Pacada, the new
PNP Provincial Director, that some of its units be stationed
within the vicinity of the said bridge.
Likewise, the same
tenor of the resolution will be sent to the 802nd Brigade, 8th
Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA), through Col. Allan
Martin, the Deputy Brigade Commander.
Both Pacada and Martin
were present during Wednesday’s PPOC meeting, and both committed to
forward the PPOC request in the form of a resolution to their
respective higher authorities for the expected appropriate action.
Gov. Damian Mercado,
PPOC Chair, stressed the importance of having checkpoints on standby
in the area, saying that the presence of uniformed personnel can act
as a deterrent to individuals or groups that may have other motives.
He, however, pointed
out that the province remained peaceful because of strong cooperation
by everybody, but establishing an outpost in Agas-Agas can certainly
help to preserve peace and order in a pro-active manner.
Since opening to
vehicular traffic after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated
Agas-Agas bridge – said to be the country’s highest span measuring 85
meters from the ground – last month, reports said many passengers
going to Mindanao or
Luzon passing in the area have spent time appreciating its awesome
Enthusiasts of extreme
sports have reportedly frequented the place.
The PPOC concern for a
round-the-clock watch on the bridge was prompted by speculative
worries some unlawful elements may sabotage the structure, especially
in the run-up to the synchronized presidential and local elections
aside from its panoramic view, served as a strategic, safe passage
linking Mindanao and Luzon, and vice versa.
It was also the
permanent solution to the recurring landslides in the area which
endanger the lives of passing passengers and unsuspecting motorists,
particularly during rainy season.
8th ID: Samar remains
a big challenge in insurgency
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
Samar – Samar remains a big challenge to the army when it
comes to crushing insurgency.
Commanding General of
8th Infantry Division (8th ID) Arthur Tabaquero said in a press
conference on Friday, September 18, 2009 aired at DYMS.
officials assured Samarnons that it is on the right timing in its goal
of crushing insurgency, still Samar remains a big challenge for the
army, Col. Alexander Cabales deputy commander chimed in.
The most recent NPA
attacks like the attack in Cancaiyas, Basey, the murder of Fr. Cecilio
Lucero, and the attack of one army element of 543rd Engineer Brigade
kept the army reeling.
Despite the attack to
non-army combatants, the army said Tabaquero, will continue to
construct infra projects like those of the Kalayaan sa Barangay
Program and that attacks will never hinder the developmental projects
envisioned by PGMA.
The army, said
Tabaquero, right now shoulders the medical needs of the NPA wounded
and captured in the encounter with the 543rd Engineer Brigade.
Tabaquero offered to
Samar’s officials to emulate Bohol and Gov. Enrico Aumentado’s Team
He added that the
transformation of Bohol did not happen overnight, that like any
also suffered dark days but Aumentado’s political will paif odd
As to the NPA
atrocities, Cabales said the NPAs would like to project a ‘force to
reckon’ with so that come elections, they will still be given ‘permit
to campaign fees’ a clear milking cow of the leftists, he averred.
Presently, the 8th ID,
said Tabaquero, continues to push civil military operations and
continues to reach out for a good relationship.
He then urged the
local chief executives to help them, by providing basic services to
the influenced barangays and to the people to support the anti
insurgency campaign of the Arroyo government.
Leyte turned over
community hospital to municipal LGU
Media Relations Center
September 24, 2009
KANANGA, Leyte – The
provincial government of
Leyte formally turned over the health planning, control and
management of the formerly province-run
Hospital to the local government unit (LGU) of Kananga.
negotiations and convincing form Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla,
Kananga Mayor Elmer Codilla finally gave his nod for the LGU to handle
the management of the said community hospital against the alternative
option of full closure since the said facility has not been earning
much to support its own operations.
In the turn-over
ceremony held recently at the hospital ground of the new Kananga
Municipal Hospital (KMH), the mayor said although managing the
hospital would run tight on their own budget; however, providing a
nearer health facility for his constituents as well as neighboring
towns weighed heavier than the hospital’s eventual closure.
To recall, in 1991 the
government introduced a major devolution of national government
services, which included the first wave of health sector reform,
through the introduction of the Local Government Code of 1991. The
Code devolved basic services, to include health services among others,
to local government units.
With the devolution of
health services to LGUs, the provincial governments oversee provincial
and district hospitals, while the municipal governments manage rural
health units (RHUs) and barangay (village) health stations.
During his first term,
Gov. Petilla implemented a hospital improvement plan to make the
district hospitals under the province’s wings independent and
self-sustaining; however, some of these hospitals remain
non-performing costing the province more by subsidizing its
For some LGUs, the
decentralization process have been favorable, especially those LGUs
which are resource-rich.
Gov. Petilla said
closing the hospitals however weighed heavily in the government’s
thrust to provide health care especially with 70% of the community
hospitals clientele belonging to the low-income level.
Aside from turning
over the community hospital to the Kananga LGU, the provincial
government has also provided it with a financial assistance of P3.5
million to rehabilitate some of its existing facilities and services.
The turn over held
last Thursday was attended by Gov. Petilla and Mayor Codilla with
Leyte 4th District Representative Eufrocino Codilla, Sr. and
representatives from the Provincial Health Office, Department of
Health, PhilHealth and other municipal officials.
of Marquez unlocked key to Pacquiao mystery
By ALEX P. VIDAL /
California – Team Mayweather’s game plan was simple: take one step
backward, but take two steps forward.
Step one backward
means outweighing your smaller opponent by as much as 20 pounds a day
before the fight and be willing to cough up a hefty fine worth
$600,000, peanuts for the nine figures to be bankrolled for a 12-round
And outweighed Floyd
Mayweather Jr. (146 pounds) did to rattle and overran Juan Manuel
Marquez (142 pounds) and escaped with a lopsided unanimous decision
victory, 118-109, 120-107, 119-108, on September 19 at the
MGM Grand in
Las Vegas, Nevada.
Team Marquez actually
acknowledged the Mexican customer was smaller, having campaigned
masterfully in the 130-lb category and came in at 140 pounds against
Mayweather, who weighed 146 pounds. But any post mortem catcalls would
be dismissed as sour-graping.
Mayweather (40-0, 25
KOs) only showed who’s the boss in the division he ruled with terror
and fear that earned him the reputation as originally the best boxer
pound-for-pound before he lapsed into a 21-month lay-off and thus
yielded the honor to Manny Pacquiao.
Now that Marquez has
been neutralized, all roads now lead to a possible showdown either
with Pacquiao or Shane Mosley, who got an earful from Mayweather
himself for interrupting the latter’s post fight press conference.
By toying with
Marquez, considered as the second best boxer in the world pound for
pound, Mayweather exposed something members of Team Pacquiao dread not
to be discovered: boxers outside Mayweather’s division can be
outshuttled by using defensive skills.
The difference between
Mayweather and Pacquiao, as observed by Marquez, is that Mayweather is
a 100 percent skilled defensive warrior while Pacquiao likes to brawl
from opening bell until the end.
Pacquiao owns two of
the five losses inflicted on Marquez’s amazing record and both wins
were snatched from the jaws of defeat.
If Pacquiao were in
the fighting shoes of Marquez in that fight, would Mayweather finish
the fight on his stool? Or, would Pacquiao suffer Marquez’s fate?
Speed both Mayweather and Pacquiao have it. Force they both possess
it. Weight will definitely tilt in favor of the black executioner.
Marquez has admitted
fighting Mayweather was like fighting a Goliath. He has given
credence to conventional belief that fighting in a heavier weight
vis-à-vis a heavier foe is always uphill climb. Mayweather’s dominance
of Marquez spoke louder than words. Of the 493 punches he thrown, 290
of them landed on Marquez’s face. Marquez landed only 142 of the 583
punches he thrown.
The message was loud
and clear: there was no way for a lightweight speedster to outslick
welterweight Mayweather in his own turf.
finding himself red in the face once more for predicting that Marquez
would upset Mayweather, Golden Boy Promotions chief Oscar De La Hoya
has pushed for a Mayweather-Mosley showdown next.
Mosley, however, must
tackle first Joshua Clottey in December while De La Hoya must wait for
the November 24 joust between Pacquiao and World Boxing Organization (WBO)
champion Miguel Cotto.
If Pacquiao rolls past
Cotto, the Filipino superstar might most likely seal the Mayweather
deal since Pacquiao is being backed strongly by Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
However, if Cotto hits
a jackpot by trouncing Pacquiao, he might elbow out Mosley from the
sweepstakes since Cotto had already beaten Mosley on points.
PGMA pledges funds for
new Diosdado Macapagal Provincial Hospital in Southern Leyte, says
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has assured to contribute
an unspecified amount for the construction of a new provincial
hospital to be located in a sprawling vacant lot at barangay Dongon,
some five kilometers to the interior portion of this city.
This was revealed by
Gov. Damian Mercado, who said the new health facility will be named
Diosdado Macapagal Provincial Hospital to honor President Arroyo’s
late father, the country’s President in the 1960s.
In a chance
interaction with local media at the Governor’s office last week, Gov.
Mercado said he had met with the President last Monday, and in that
meeting the Chief Executive made her assurance for financial support.
As to the particular
figure, the Governor declined to state any speculation, saying only
that the assistance can be coming soon as requested before the
President bows out of office when her term ends next year.
“The new hospital will
be constructed within this year,” Gov. Mercado categorically declared,
adding that the provincial government has allotted P100 Million ready
budget from its own coffers to start the construction work.
The rough estimate for
the overall project cost was P240 Million for a two-storey structure,
Gov. Mercado said.
Arroyo’s visit to this city last month, she had viewed a tarpaulin
image of the hospital’s perspective in one side of the terminal
complex where the ceremonies were held.
Sources privy to the
conversation had said the President was amused and enthusiastic about
the project as she watched the pictures, an architect’s rendering of
the proposed structure.
provincial hospital at barangay Mantahan will be taken cared by the
city government to become the city hospital once the new, more
spacious Dongon hospital project shall have been completed, according
to informed sources.