NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
A substantial tranche of P1.566 billion has been downloaded to start this year the implementation of the new Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) project in Cortes.
Rep. Edgar Chatto said the specialized medical complex will largely contribute to the upgrading of Bohol’s healthcare system.
Complementing the good news, Chatto on Friday secured the assurance of Exec. Dir. Rowena Candice Ruiz that virtual bidding is allowed against COVID-19 restrictions which have affected government procurement processes.
The national Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) already has a resolution governing the virtual bidding by electronic means, Ruiz told Chatto.
A prime mover of the essential project when he was governor, Chatto on the same day broke the good news to GCGMH chief Dr. Mutya Kismet Tirol-Macuno.
Bringing her team, Macuno earlier met with the First District congressman and sought his help in getting authority from the GPPB for the virtual bidding of the project.
Difficulty in the process of executing the project is one of the “challenges met as brought about by the CoVID-19 pandemic,” Macuno admitted.
The GCGMH chief confirmed to the solon the downloading of P1.566 billion for utilization this year.
The fund, which is this year’s tranche for the project under a Multi-Year Contractual Authority (MYCA), was secured when Chatto assumed congressman.
The MYCA also guarantees the succeeding annual national allocations until the whole project will be completed.
TIME ESSENCE OF VIRTUAL BIDDING
The utilization of the P1.566 in 2020 is dependent on the completion of the design, which is currently worked on by the winning design consultant.
However, certain issues cropped up and unless they are resolved, the utilization of the fund cannot take place on time.
They involve activities that are necessary to the completion of the detailed architectural and engineering design (DAED).
These are the environmental impact assessment, soil boring for 20 holes at 20 meters deep each, and probing of column placement, all of which must have to undergo virtual bidding this abnormal time forced by COVID-19.
These will provide the winning design consultancy the data to make design recommendations for engineering intervention for the building to mitigate identified ground defects.
Also, the bidding for project construction management is necessary for supervising and coordinating the whole project.
To simplify the directions, Macuno and her GCGMH team thus asked Chatto to recommend to the GPPB to allow the virtual bidding for the aforementioned activities this month and in June—and for all succeeding bidding activities necessary to the project.
Ruiz also told Chatto that the GPPB resolution on virtual bidding also allows digital signatures of the parties involved, including the bidders and members of the bids and awards committee (BAC).
But the implementing agency of the project must have its information technology (IT) department competent in assisting the virtual bidding process.
Bidding entries have encryptions, including price quotations, which cannot be known and only decoded during their opening.
For transparency, the project specifications and its online or electronic bidding still undergo strict regulations under the government procurement reform law.
PROACTIVE TO KEEP FUND READY TO USE
Considering the absorptive capacity of the project host, the GCGMH management also asked Chatto in their meeting last week to recommend the modification of the utilization of the fund.
This comes with the proposal to have the P1.566 billion retained in the MCYA 2020 budget since the allocation cannot be surely fully used this year.
This is simply considering that the project is expected to start implementation in the latter part of this year.
Specifically, Chatto will thus recommend to the Department of Budget and Management to approve the obligation of yet P100 million in 2020
The remaining P1.466 billion will be obligated in 2021 as the implementation will go full swing until another fund tranche will be released en route to the completion of the project.
The congressman vowed to work on the recommendation, although they all did agree that, with the virtual bidding authority allowed, the project is now considered on the go.
SPECIALIZED NEW GALLARES HOSPITAL
A four-story specialized medical center, the new GCGMH will have these, among others, once done:
*Critical care center with an eight-theatre operating complex consisting of two trauma operating rooms (ORs), six general suregy ORs, and 10-bed PACU;
*Service building for dietetics and clinical nutrition with main kitchen plus Halal kitchen and staff cafeteria;
*Two in-patient buildings having in-patient units with multi-occupant rooms for six patients each room and single-occupant rooms;
*Another critical care center with 10 beds per unit. The entire complex is airborne infection isolation capable (negative ppressire). In times of epidemic or public health emergency, the negative pressire can be activated.
*Another service building with academic wing having conference rooms and auditorium, and executive/adminitrative offices;
*Critical health care center also with eight-theatre operating complex consisting of two integrated ORs (advanced minimally invasive surgery), two special ORs (subspecialty orthopaedics and spine plus neurosurgery), two advanced surgery rooms (thoracocardiovascular and transplant), two class-3 imaging OR suites (cardio catheterisation plus interventional cardiology), and 10-bed PACU;
*Another service building for materials management section and warehouse;
*Another in-patient building for imaging institute on nuclear medicine, automated pharmacy, and ocean lounge (centralised frontline service center) involving billing/cashier/social service/Malasakit Center/medical records;
*In-patient building for rehabilitation and human performance institute, kidney and urology institute (20-unit hemodialysis center), and transplant center for kidney and cornea;
*Behavioral science and psychiatry (lower ground);
*In-patient building also has laboratory medicine and pathology institute (molecular pathology, clinical biochemistry and hemapathology, clinical microbiology, transfusion medicine, and clinical cytopathology); skylounge (centralised reception and waiting for diagnostic center patients); advanced diagnostic center—respiratory unit, neurosciences unit, heart and vascular institute; and women’s health unit;
*In-patient building for obstetric complex and neonatal medicine; and
Chatto batted to establish within the new GCGMH complex a Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) subnational center for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
He said the whole project strongly supports and strengthens the upgraded healthcare agenda of the province under Gov. Arthur Yap. (Ven rebo Arigo)