A RESOLUTION requesting the Department of Health (DOH) to issue License to Operate (LTO) for the newly-proposed three sections of the Paquibato District Hospital was passed on second reading last Tuesday.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the city council committee on health, said an LTO has been requested for the hospital's birthing home, laboratory and pharmacy.

The committee found that the district hospital's name cannot be changed into Paquibato District Infirmary because it was named through RA 7216 known as "An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Paquibato Emergency Hospital in the District of Paquibato, Davao City, from 10 to 25 beds, upgrading into a district hospital to be known as Paquibato District Hospital and Appropriating Funds Thereof" that cannot be superseded by a local ordinance.

The change of name of the facility was requested by City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte because the current functional classification of the facility is not aligned with its name.

The general guidelines of implementing mechanisms of DOH Administrative Order No. 2012-0012 mandated that the name of the institution must be compatible with the functional capacity of the health facility otherwise it will not be issued an LTO.

Paquibato District Hospital was reclassified from Level I Hospital to Infirmary under the DOH Administrative Order No. 2012-0012 based on its service capability.

Dr. Villafuerte raised the concern because the deadline of the LTO is set in December 2015. If the name won't be changed, the health facility will be issued a cease and desist order and cannot automatically get accreditation from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

In order not to defy the mandate of the DOH, and at the same time not supersede the national law, the committee recommended that the Paquibato District shall be divided into three sections and to disregard the resolution to change the name of the facility.