TAGUM CITY -- The success of Davao del Norte's economic enterprise department has inspired the province of Batangas to replicate the model in order to improve its health services.

Pedrito Martin Dijan, the chief of staff of Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, said the Provincial Government of Batangas is very interested to copy the structure of the Provincial Economic Enterprise and Development Office (Peedo) of Davao del Norte.

Dijan, together with provincial administrator Victor Reyes and 17 other capitol department heads of Batangas, visited the province to study its health programs, projects and activities.

Vice Governor Victorio Suaybaguio and OIC-Provincial Administrator Norma Lumain welcomed the guests, while provincial planning and development officer Engr. Josie Jean Rabanos, provincial health officer Dr. Agapito Hornido and Peedo head Ma. Eliza Andin briefed the visitors on the profile and health sector structure of the province. Governor Rodolfo del Rosario later joined the group.

Dijan thanked their counterparts for enlightening them on the essentials of creating a new economic enterprise department, which they intend to handle the operation of the 12 district hospitals of Batangas, among other undertakings.

"This is the first time that I heard about this particular development and we would like to really replicate this program in Batangas," he declared.

It can be recalled that del Rosario created the Peedo in 2011 to increase the generation of sustainable local revenue and improve the delivery of basic health services to the people of Davao del Norte.

The new office took over the control of the three provincial hospitals in Kapalong, Carmen and the Island Garden City of Samal, as well as, the blood bank component from the auspices of the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

The PHO is now left with the public health services under its care. However, Andin bared the Peedo maintains a consultative and coordinating relationship with the former.

To improve services, the Peedo implemented a new hospital billing scheme using the PhilHealth standard, created a hospital services package and availed of a laboratory equipment and supplies tie-up with private entities.

These innovations enabled the province to earn a total combined income of P32.5 million from the three provincial hospitals in 2012, exceeding their projected target by 125 percent.

The increased income has allowed the office to achieve financial independence during its first year alone, particularly in paying the maintenance and other operating expenses of the hospitals.

Andin, however, revealed her department is yet to free the dependence of its personnel requirement from the general fund owing to the infancy of the office. (PR)