Press Release
January 21, 2011


BALER, AURORA -- Senator Edgardo J. Angara graced yesterday the groundbreaking of the new Aurora Memorial Hospital in Barangay Reserva, which will be built through the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the aid-granting arm of the Japanese government.

To improve the 70-year old memorial hospital, JICA has allotted nearly Php500 million for the construction of a new building with 50 rooms and complete medical equipment.

"The common goal of Japan and the Philippines is to prioritize human development projects in addition to the ongoing infrastructure endeavors throughout the province.

According to Angara, who donated the land for the new building, the new hospital would be provided with top-of-the-line facilities.

"Because of Japan's generosity, our hospital will be one of the most advanced in the region in terms of equipment and facilities. They have gone beyond the usual land grants or donations for the basic structure--they have instead chosen to build a fully-equipped hospital in our humble but deserving municipality," said Angara.

The Aurora Memorial would serve as the general hospital for Baler and the neighboring towns. It would also be used as the training institution for the Midwifery and Nursing students from the UP School of Health Sciences in the province.

"I see a bright future ahead for the health care system--because of this hospital, there will be better access to health services as well as improved training for health workers in the area, and the superior facilities will be sure to attract the specialists from the big cities.

Angara, who authored the law that created Philhealth and the Child Health Insurance Program, described the long-term objectives of the different projects being conducted in the area.

"What we want is this--rather than just being removed from the poorest provinces in the Philippines, but to go a step further: becoming an exemplary model for rural development through the cooperation of local, national and international agencies.

"Most of all, we are looking forward to a strengthened partnership with our friends here from Japan, who have showed their continuous commitment to improving the lives of Filipinos not just in Aurora, but throughout the country," he concluded.

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