BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya thanked House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for the additional funds he committed for the construction of the Bacolod City General Hospital during the latter’s visit to Bacolod City and Negros Occidental on Friday.
He said he hopes the construction of the project will start early next year, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Gasataya said that during Velasco’s visit Friday to Bacolod together with several congressmen, he presented the perspective of the city hospital which will be constructed next year and asked for additional funds from the national government. He will be providing the Speaker a copy of the perspective and other details of the project.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had signed into law Republic Act (RA) 11564, creating the Bacolod City General Hospital and appropriating funds for its establishment, last June 24.
The bill was authored by Gasataya in the House of Representatives and its counterpart in the Senate was sponsored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Gasataya said that in the proposed 2022 budget of the national government there is an allocation for the hospital amounting to P250 million. This is over and above the commitment of Zubiri and Velasco.
Zubiri had earlier assured the City Government of Bacolod that he will find other sources starting with an allocation of P200 million to augment its budget of the construction of the city hospital.
Aside from the infrastructure, the Department of Health (DOH) has committed to provide the medical equipment needed for the city hospital. He also hopes to request for additional funds aside from the P250 million he requested from the DOH because the project is so important for Bacolod City, Gasataya said.
He has instructed the Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Office to immediately finish the perspective and other things needed for its construction.
Gasataya said the DPWH Regional Office 6 will submit to him the cost estimate of the project this month after finalizing the perspective.
Certain groups have proposed to donate their properties to the city for the site of the constriction of the city hospital. These are in the areas of Barangays Felisa, Vista Alegre, Bata, Alijis and another in an undisclosed location. All these donations will cost the city nothing and that the properties range between 3 hectares to 3.5 hectares, he noted.
Once the situation in Manila improves, he will request the DOH to come to Bacolod to meet with the local government unit (LGU) and to finalize the location of the hospital so its construction can start early next year, the solon said.
“Under normal circumstances, I hope the construction will start first quarter of next year. The funds, as well as the property to be donated are there, the DPWH is finalizing the perspective, DOH and LGU have committed their support, so I don’t see any reason for the project not to be implemented,” Gasataya said.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia had earlier thanked and congratulated Gasataya and Zubiri for sponsoring the bill in the House of Representative and the Senate.
He said the approval of the bill creating the Bacolod City General Hospital is of great significance to his administration because it is one of the campaign promises of his political party Grupo Progreso in the 2019 elections.*