Press Release
August 12, 2009

Pia: Can Arroyo gov't pick up tab for PGH's unpaid electricity
and water bills?

"Why can't President Arroyo foot the unpaid utility bills of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) amounting to P152 million?"

This was the challenge hurled by Senator Pia S. Cayetano to the Arroyo government in reaction to reports that the state-funded hospital had recently been given disconnection notices by electricity distributor Meralco for unpaid bills amounting to P127 million since 2008, and by Maynilad for P25 million in unpaid water services bills.

"The President has P70 billion as discretionary funds that can readily be tapped to bail out the PGH from its financial hole. What's P152 million to an administration whose officials have brazenly been living an ostentatious lifestyle, while the rest of the country wallows in poverty?"

Cayetano said she found "plausible" the PGH administration's explanation that it had been forced to "frontload" maintenance and operational expenses to prioritize medical services to indigent patients at the expense of meeting their obligations with Meralco and Maynilad.

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