By Darlene Delgado
Bacolod City Congressman Greg Gasataya, in a Facebook post yesterday afternoon, said that the Senate approved the bill unanimously (23-0).
“Daku ang aton kalipay nga aprubado na ang ini nga hagna para matuman ang handom sang tanan nga may kaugalingon na kita nga hospital,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, on his part, yesterday said, “We need more hospitals—especially public hospitals.”
Zubiri is the author and co-sponsor of the Senate Bill 1647, the counterpart of the House of Representatives Bill 6731 authored by Gasataya.
“Right now, the whole province of Negros Occidental has only one tertiary government hospital. Bacolod alone has a population of over half a million people,” the senator said. “We saw how our hospitals have struggled throughout the pandemic. They’ve been performing at overcapacity, and our medical frontliners have been severely overworked.
Meanwhile, discussions are ongoing between the city government and certain groups interested to donate a property for the proposed BCGH.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the city government would “seriously pursue” prospective lot donors.
Leonardia, however, has yet to disclose further details as to the donors and the location of the property.
Gasataya said the Senate has allotted P600 million for the establishment of the BCGH, which will be included in the 2022 General Appropriations Act under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the Department of Health.
In the 2015 national census, Bacolod City was recorded to have 561,875 residents, making it the most populated city in Western Visayas. Its residents are serviced by the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), which caters to the whole of Negros Occidental. (With a report from PNA)/WDJ