HEALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III bared that a total of 151 health facilities were affected by the series of the earthquakes in Mindanao last October with 14 of which were totally damaged.
In a press conference at Waterfront Insular Hotel last week, he said 137 were partially damaged. They have already sent teams to check on the quake-hit areas especially in the Davao Region and Soccsksargen to assist in the assessment of damage and structural integrity of health facilities.
“Our technical and engineering staff continue to make the assessment and will give us report so that in terms of the expected recommendations emanating from our CHDs (Centers for Health Developments) of 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Davao Region), and 12 (Soccsksargen), and some Caraga, we will prepare for the budgetary requirement of such damage facilities because very important that we need to normalize operations as soon as possible,” Doque said.
In October, a series of strong shallow earthquakes struck the province of Cotabato and vicinity. These earthquakes occurred on October 16, 7:37 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PST) at magnitude 6.3; on October 29, 9:04 a.m.; and 10:42 a.m. at magnitudes 6.6 and 6.1, respectively, and on October 31, 9:11 a.m. at magnitude 6.5. It resulted in structural damage, earthquake-induced landslides, among others.
The health chief said they are also in the process of identifying new locations for those health facilities located on the fault lines or areas which had been already identified by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) as “no man’s land.”
“This is something that we are anticipating from our regional directors through the very hardworking and dedicated Assistant Secretary Dumama to please bridge the central office to the regions and get the recommendations, get the listing,” Doque said.
Some of the areas where the damage to facilities are reported were in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Digos City, Kidapawan City, Magpet, Makilala, M’lang, Tulunan, South Cotabato, Koronadal.
“We don’t have to wait for the completion of the list. We know it will always add to a certain degree but let’s not wait until the list that’s completed so that we can already find the resources needed to put these facilities back on track,” he added.
Despite the damage, health workers continue to provide health service to the displaced victims, especially in the evacuation sites. A Rapid Assessment Results was conducted and headed by the DOH and Unicef. They also initiated health education regarding water sanitation and hygiene to the evacuees as well as the conduct of health consultations.