NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District has filed a bill seeking to put the Garcia Memorial Provincial Hospital (GMPH) in Talibon town under the direct supervision and control of the Department of Health (DOH).
Aumentado sees the move as the quickest way to upgrade the bed capacity, the equipment, services, infrastructure and the number, as well as salaries of the employees of the hospital. The Aumentado bill seeks to increase its current bed capacity from 75 to 300.
GMPH is one of 10 hospitals devolved to the provincial government with the passing of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.
Once passed into law, House Bill No. 8297 authorizes DOH, in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC), with prior consultation with GMPH, shall determine the additional plantilla positions to be created and filled up.
But the increase in bed capacity shall be implemented gradually – in a span of three years from such passing.
The proposed law also tasks the health secretary to include in the departments programs the upgrading, and include it in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
In his explanatory note, the solon anchored his bill on Article II of the Philippine Constitution that provides that “the State shall adapt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development”.
This means the State shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to the people at an affordable price.
Located in a two-hectare government-owned lot in Barangay San Jose in Talibon of the 2nd District, GMPH still has enough space to construct buildings to house the increased beds and other facilities in the future.
The hospital is already ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS)-certified as of 2018, and is working toward a Level II DOH Standard re-accreditation. It had dropped to Level I when DOH adopted new standards in 2000.
It was also accredited as a Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital in 2019.
Aumentado’s move comes in the heels of the successful increase in bed capacity and acquisition of modern equipment by the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital (DEDVMH) in Ubay town also in the 2nd District. The move was initiated by the solon’s namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor, former Gov. Erico Boyles Aumentado. (June S. Blanco)