Capitol gets zero funds for hospital

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Friday, December 20, 2013


GOVERNOR Roel Degamo expressed angst following the issuance of negative funds for the second time for the proposed five-storey building of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH).

In a yearend press conference held at the convention center Friday morning, Degamo said the Department of Health (DOH) issued the notice of negative sub-allotment released order (Saro) for the proposed building.

MOA on hospital building construction
DUMAGUETE. Governor Roel Degamo shows the Memorandum of Agreement between the DOH and the Provincial Government for the proposed construction of five-storey center block building of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital. (Victor L. Camion)

He said under the memorandum of agreement between the DOH and the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental, the health agency will release P100 million for the construction of the center block building.

The construction will cost P350 million, the governor said, adding that the Provincial Government will allocate P250 million for the project.

The P100 million that should be coming from the DOH will fund the hospital equipment to include the centralized oxygen system.

But Degamo stressed that the issuance of negative Saro will affect the construction of the project.

He lambasted the non-issuance of the funds, saying: “They should give the reason why, so that we can comply… I am appealing to the national agencies, please be professional.”

The governor believes that the decision is politically motivated.

For provincial legal counsel Richard Enojo, the withdrawal of funds for the second time is scandalous.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) earlier issued the negative Saro for the P480-million calamity funds intended for the proposed rehabilitation of infrastructures in at least 10 towns and cities of Negros Oriental damaged by Tropical Storm Sendong in December 2011.

President Benigno Aquino III approved the P960-million calamity fund for Negros Oriental in February 2011, and the P480-million Saro was released immediately. After few months, however, the DBM issued a negative Saro.

“I would say that this is very scandalous withdrawal because if you can scan the copy of the memorandum of agreement the sub-allotment advised, it was issued as early as May 2013,” Enojo said.

He said the P100 million budget was upon the initiative of the DOH to upgrade the health facilities of the local government unit. “And because they thought that there is a need to upgrade the health facilities in Negros Oriental, they opted to enter the agreement with the provincial of Negros Oriental,” he said.

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