PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited Iloilo on Tuesday for development projects inspection and inauguration of a general hospital in the city’s second district.

Regional Director Janet Mesa of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said the President will conduct an inaugural drive through upgraded and rehabilitated roads in strategic locations in the municipalities of Leon and Sta. Barbara.

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Two of the road projects she will look into are the P5 million rehabilitated Iloilo-Capiz route via Zarraga, Iloilo; and the P10 million road upgrading of Mandurriao-San Miguel-Alimodian-Maasin-Cabatuan Road connecting the municipalities of Pavia, San Miguel, Alimodian and Maasin to Iloilo.

Mesa said the other two projects, which the President will be looking into, are the rehabilitation, reconstruction and upgrading of the damaged pave national road junction of Bancal-Leon-Antique boundary.

Arroyo will also lead the inauguration of the upgraded Western Visayas Sanitarium turned into a general hospital, which will be called Diosdado Macapagal Memorial Hospital and Center for Tropical Diseases for Western Visayas.

Mesa said the government has put up a 50-bed general hospital beside the sanitarium to expand the capability of the existing hospital to provide more health services to people in the province.

Of the P37 million funds used to construct the new hospital, P16 million came from the Department of Health (DOH) and P21 million from the “Katas ng VAT.”

The new hospital will house the x-ray, tertiary laboratory, pharmacy, central supply, city administrative offices, 50 bed wards for general services, two operating rooms, one delivery room and nursery, and public assistance unit of the hospital.

The sanitarium was established in 1927 for the treatment of persons with leprosy and will now have a dual role as sanitarium and general hospital under the DOH.

Department of Public Ways and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Victor Domingo and Regional Director Rolando Asis will brief Arroyo on the secondary national roads access and stopover in Barangay Bancal, Alimodian, while Health Secretary Francisco Duque will brief the President on the completed P37 million new hospital and Sanitarium in Sta Barbara, Iloilo.