BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
“Our dream to have our own hospital will now materialize,” Rep. Greg Gasataya said yesterday after the Senate passed on third and final reading Senate Bill 1647, establishing the Bacolod General Hospital.
Gasataya lauded Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who authored the counterpart bill, and Senator Lawrence Christopher Go, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.
He also acknowledged the help of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Quezon 4th District Rep. Angelina Tan, who helped him when he filed House Bill 6731 for the creation of the hospital in the Lower House.
Gasataya reiterated 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.
Now that it has already been approved in the Senate, it will be forwarded to President Rodrigo Duterte, for signing into law.
Go, in a phone call to Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia last week, expressed optimism that Duterte will approve the creation of the Bacolod hospital.
Leonardia also said there is a need to maximize the amount for the creation of the hospital to unburden the local finances of the city. Once the hospital has been established, it will be a partnership between DOH and the local government unit, he said.
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 that 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.*