Press Release
October 6, 2006

Drilon committee approves P248 million in 2007
budget for improvement of gov't hospitals

The powerful Senate Finance Committee on Thursday endorsed the appropriation of P248 million in the proposed 2007 budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG) for the improvement of medical facilities and equipment in government hospitals in the countryside.

"Realizing the plight of our poor countrymen in the provinces, especially the sick and elderly, who badly need quality medical attention, the finance committee approved the allocation of P248.078 million to public hospitals," said Finance Committee Chief Sen. Franklin Drilon said.

The Drilon committee has approved the allocation of P248 million, which is part of the $15 million Spanish government-assisted Health Equipment Assistance Project that will provide for the upgrading of hospital/medical equipment of 21 provincial and city hospitals.

During the committee hearing on the proposed P50.916 billion budget of the DILG for 2007, Drilon commended the DILG for implementing a project that will benefit government hospitals in the provinces.

"More government funds should be channeled to areas where there is great concentration of poor Filipinos," noted Drilon, who is also president of the Liberal Party.

The project, which started in 2002, originally costs $50 million. A remaining $15 million was not implemented over the past two years.

During a committee hearing on the proposed DILG 2007 budget, Local Governments Secretary Ronaldo Puno explained that under the project, 203 items totaling 415,000 equipment units will be provided to these 21 hospitals such as diagnostic equipments, and equipments used in different hospital departments like the OPD Emergency, ICU, Ob-Gyne, Pediatric wards and the laboratory.

Portable x-rays and accessories, ultrasound, ECG, cardiac monitors, ventilators, difribillators, incubators, stretchers, nebulizers, fetal dopplers, high speed sterilizers, and hospital beds will be provided these hospitals.

Existing beneficiary hospitals of this project are the Abra Provincial Hospital, Ifugao Provincial Hospital, Kalinga Provincial Hospital, Quirino Provincial Hospital, San Jose City Provincial Hospital in Nueva Ecija, Aurora Memorial Hospital, Rizal Provincial Hospital, Laguna Provincial Hospital, Masbate Provincial Hospital, Iloilo Provincial Hospital, Jose Locsin Memorial Hospital in Silay City, Maraon Memorial District Hospital in Sagay, Garcia Memorial Provincial Hospital in Bohol, Cuenco Memorial Hospital in Malabuyoc, Cebu, Siquijor Provincial Hospital, Biliran Provincial Hospital, Leyte Provincial Hospital, Samar Provincial Hospital, Zamboanga Del Sur Provincial Hospital, Gingoog City Provincial Hospital in Misamis Oriental, and Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Kidapawan.

Criteria used for the selection of these hospitals are: not previously-assisted by any hospital-equipment assistance program, most of the population covered by the hospital should come from poverty groups; hospital can act as a higher level of referral from other lower level hospitals; willingness of the LGU concerned to shoulder the required counterpart cost and to expand their primary health care services by increasing their annual health budget by at least five percent.

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