Bohol SP OKs P678 million loan for hospitals, heavy equip’t on 2nd reading

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Bohol SP OKs P678 million loan for hospitals, heavy equip’t on 2nd reading

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The New Bohol Provincial Capitol in Tagbilaran City | Photo courtesy of Angel Baldapan

The Bohol Provincial Board (PB) has approved on second reading the P678 million loans the Capitol is seeking mostly from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to fund the modernization of the province’s district hospitals and acquisition of heavy equipment.

The PB Members on Tuesday’s regular session passed on second reading two ordinances for the loan of P195.1 million for improvement and repair of district hospitals and P483 million also for hospital modernization and purchase and upgrade of heavy equipment, said Board Member Restituto Auxtero, vice chairman of the PB’s committee on budget, finance and appropriations.

According to Restituto, the ordinances will allow the provincial government to enter into loan agreements with the DBP for the P483 million and with the Department of Finance-Municipal Development Fund Office (DOF-MDFO) for the P195.1 million.

Restituto expressed confidence in the province’s capability to pay the loans considering the favorable terms in the proposed agreements.

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Under the ordinances, the provincial government will pay the P483-million loan with DBP within 10 years with two years grace period and the P195.1 million with the MDFO within 15 years with three years grace period.

“Kanang P195 [million] 15 years with three years grace period, interest ra atong bayran for three years, principal interest na dayon sa 12 years. Kadtong sa P483 million sa DBP, payable in 10 years with two years grace period,” Restituto said.

Both debts have interest rates of three percent per annum fixed for the entire terms of the loans.

“Gamay kaayo, porbidang gamaya [interest]. If we want to progress, e-invest ng kwartaha,” he added.

Auxtero who is leading the PB’s budget, finance and appropriations committee in the absence of its chair, Vice Governor Rene Relampagos, expects the legislative body to pass the ordinances on third and final reading next week.

The loans will then be needing “favorable” Monetary Board Opinion from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, based on guidelines indicated by the DOF for LGU loan application.

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“An LGU must secure the Certificate of Net Debt Service Ceiling (NDSC) and Borrowing Capacity (BC) from BLGF (Bureau of Local Government Finance)a favourable Monetary Board Opinion from the BSP,” the DOF states.

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Governor Art Yap early in his first term as chief executive in 2019 had highlighted that his administration will prioritize the improvement of the province’s district hospitals particularly through the purchase of medical equipment.

Yap admitted the lagging state of the province’s district hospitals, saying that he wanted to do away with the current usual scenario wherein patients are almost automatically referred to the state-run Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) in Tagbilaran City.

Bohol has 10 district hospitals scattered all over the island but the GCGMH, which has previously drawn flak for being overcrowded, remains to be the only main public healthcare facility in the province. (RT)

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