Council to CCMC: shed light on bills

Government is yet to pay the P2.2 million it owes five hospitals in the city where more than 30 patients from the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) were transferred.

The patients were transferred after the CCMC was heavily damaged by the earthquake and was declared unfit for occupancy.

Of the P2.2 million, P54,081.35 is supposed to be paid by the City Government to Cebu Velez General Hospital; P1,152,079.18 to Chong Hua Hospital; P142,843.69 to Adventist Hospital Cebu; P436,617.11 to Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital; and P419,986.19 to Perpetual Succour Hospital.

During the City Council’s April 2 regular session, Councilor Dave Tumulak has reintroduced his resolution that seeks to charge the P2.2 million to the City’s Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) fund.

But the resolution was not yet approved as the council wants to hold an executive session with CCMC Chief, Dr. Gloria Duterte, so she can answer questions on the hospital bills of the concerned patients. The council also wants the officials of the City Hospitalization and Medicine Program (Champ) to appear in the executive session.

The council scheduled the executive session with Duterte and Champ on May 28.

Tumulak’s resolution was first filed to the legislative body in January this year but

it was deferred because of some questions on the billings of some patients.

To recall, the council questioned the items covered under the P2.2-million billing statement of the five hospitals as some of the patients’ billing have reached almost P100,000.

Under Champ, the City only extends P25,000 hospital aid to indigent patients.

Tumulak, though, reiterated that the City can shoulder the whole amount of the patients’ bill since it will be charged to Pagcor and not to the P100 million fund of Champ.

Based on the Pagcor guidelines, he said funds may be used to provide emergency assistance to victims and people affected by disasters, among others.

The City receives at least P4 million from Pagcor for allowing it to operate casinos in the city.

Meanwhile, the council approved an ordinance creating the Cebu City Sister-City Commission.

The ordinance, authored by Councilor James Cuenco, is seen to shape a mutually beneficial relationship between Cebu City and its foreign and domestic sister-cities.

Cuenco said the creation of the commission would also be useful when tapping the sister-cities’ help, particularly in raising more funds for the construction of the new CCMC.

At present, the City has 15 international partners under the sister-city covenants, but only five are active and are extending assistance and other exchange programs with the City.

The commission shall be under the Office of the Mayor and it will serve as the City’s principal liaison in the establishment and maintenance of the local and international relations and cooperation.

It should also actively campaign, attract and invite tourists to visit Cebu City.

Aside from the international partners, the City also has ties with 13 local cities, which is also covered by the commission.

The Cebu City Sister-City Commission will be composed of the mayor, who will serve as a chairman or his duly authorized representative; the head of the committee on tourism, who will sit as the vice chairman; a representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs; one member of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the city protocol officer; and three members of the private sector appointed by the mayor and concurred by the council.

According to the ordinance, the City should set aside P8 million annually for the commission.

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