BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The groundbreaking ceremony for the extension of the Bacolod Queen of Mercy Hospital (BQMH) at corner Circumferential Road and GM Cordova Avenue, formerly Buri Road, in Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City was held yesterday.
According to the BQMH, the six-storey hospital extension, situated on a 1.7-hectare property, will be a Level 2 state-of-the-art hospital, a press release from the city said.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia joined Dr. Evangeline Johnson, BQMH chief executive officer and president, Cpt. Lucho Giovanni Giron – chief of operations, Dr. Omar Montejo, medical director Dr. Willy Yu, and Business Development Center director Dr. Neifertiti Gosiengfiao, at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Also present were Councilor Al Victor Espino, Erwin Velasco, City Health officer-in-charge, Dr. Edwin Miraflor Jr., Mandalagan Barangay Captain Arturo Parreño, and other barangay officials.
Meanwhile, Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya said yesterday that he already requested the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Health to come up with a perspective for the construction of the city general hospital.
He said he hopes the construction will start as soon as the budget will be approved next year.
Gasataya said the perspective of the hospital will be presented during the budget deliberations, after the Department of Budget and Management included in the 2022 National Expenditure Program the budget for its construction.
Gasataya said he held a meeting with the DOH last week and they will come over for a site inspection of possible areas for the project.
About four property owners in Bacolod had expressed willingness to donate their properties for the construction of the hospital.
President Rodrigo Duterte had signed into law on June 24, Republic Act 11564, creating the Bacolod City General Hospital and appropriating funds for its establishment.
The bill was authored by Gasataya in the House of Representatives and its counterpart in the Senate was sponsored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
The Senate allotted P600 million for the establishment of the hospital, to be included in the 2022 General Appropriations Act under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the DOH.
Meanwhile, Gasataya said they will also hold a meeting with the local government unit and the DOH to discuss the implementation of the project.
Zubiri had earlier assured the City Government of Bacolod that he will find other fund sources for the project, starting with an initial allocation of P200 million to augment the budget for its construction.*