President Rodrigo Duterte will sign today the bill creating the Bacolod City General Hospital, and Mayor Evelio Leonardia has been invited to the signing ceremony at Malacañang.
Leonardia, in a statement, said, “I am very thankful to the Office of the President for inviting me to the signing ceremony of the bill creating the Bacolod City General Hospital.
“It would have been an honor and a privilege to witness President Duterte signing this bill on this special occasion,” the mayor said.
But Leonardia said, “The schedule will fall at the same time when my beloved sister-in-law, Cecilia Montilla Leonardia, wife of my late brother Cesar, will be laid to rest during which I was asked to deliver a eulogy for her, too.
“It is with deep regret, therefore, that I cannot make it to Malacañang but I was already able to explain my circumstances to the Office of the President and the Office of Senator Bong Go,” he added.
Leonardia thanked Go for his advance invitation even before the bill was finally approved in the Senate.
“Once again, I take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Congressman Greg Gasataya and Senator Migz Zubiri for sponsoring the bill in the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively,” he added.
“The approval of the bill creating the Bacolod City General Hospital is also of great significance to us because it is one of the campaign promises of Grupo Progreso in the last elections,” he added.
The Senate passed on third and final reading Senate Bill 1647, establishing the hospital in Bacolod City late last month.
Gasataya, who sponsored House Bill 6731 that was approved in the House of Representatives last year, lauded Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Majority Leader Zubiri, who authored the counterpart bill, and Go, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, for their support.
Gasataya had said that it has been a long dream of the city government to provide quality and accessible healthcare for every Bacolodnon and he hopes that this legislation will benefit even future generations.
The national government will fund the hospital construction, under the 2022 General Appropriations Act, through the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the DOH. The Senate allotted P600 million for its establishment.
Gasataya earlier said the construction of the hospital may start next year. At the moment, they are yet to identify where it will be constructed. Several areas are being considered as sites of the hospital, including those in barangays Mansilingan, Felisa, and Bata, near the boundary of Bacolod and Talisay.*