NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Exactly a year after the groundbreaking for Phase I of the Cortes Campus of the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH), Bohol government, Department of Health (DOH) and hospital officials led the groundbreaking of Phase II.
Cong. Edgar Chatto graced the event together with DOH Usec. Lilibeth David, Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) Director Leonita Gorgolon, GCGMH chief Dr. Mutya Kismet Tirol-Macuno, and Dr. Jonathan Erasmo representing DOH Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas.
Phase II is comprised of the construction of the four-floor office and service building that will include facilities for engineering, dietary, materials management, administrative offices, training facilities, and conference facility. It also completes works of phase 1 including the heart and vascular center and center for nuclear medicine theranostics and site development.
AC Tumang/JJ & J Construction Joint Venture takes on the project on a 19-month contract.
“The long wait was worth it,” Chatto said of the project that spanned administrations, his brainchild when he was then governor.
Chatto expressed enthusiasm for specialized care services that will hugely impact health service delivery to the province, and to the region.
“This complements the Provincial Government thrust to modernize hospitals in the province,” he said, with Gov. Art Yap and Vice Gov. Rene Relampagos pursuing upgrading of district hospitals run by the Provincial Government.
DOH’s David congratulated Bohol on the P3 billion multi-year obligation project, the first hospital project in the country which the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) authorized.
“It is a showcase of various sectors working together over a period of many administrations,” she said of the vision, faith, commitment of such leadership working together for what will serve Bohol best.
The project was approved by NEDA with then Sec. Ernie Pernia in 2016 with the PGBH donating the 5-hectare lot in Cortes in 2014. Chatto helped facilitate P1.5 billion funding for Phase 1 of the project in Congress for 2020 and subsequent funding of P1.5 billion (P1 billion for infrastructure and P500 million for equipment) for Phase 2 for 2021.
A legislative measure is also underway to rename GCGMH to Governor Celestino Gallares Multi-Specialty Medical Complex with Cortes Campus dedicated to specialized care and the present Tagbilaran City campus providing ambulatory care services, the bill also providing for manpower and operations.
Chatto also reports a P120.3 million appropriation in the 2022 National Budget for Medical Assistance for Indigents Program at the Gallares Hospital, which he worked on with Senator Sonny Angara and Dr. Macuno.
Gallares will also play an important role as a training hospital for the upcoming opening of the College of Medicine of the Bohol Island State University (BISU), Chatto added.
Phase 1 of the Cortes Campus which is mainly patient care services buildings – including clinical care services, emergency department, cancer center, surgery institute, stroke service, lounge, pathology and clinical laboratory service, clinical pharmacy center, imaging center, biocontainment unit, surgery and internal medicine departments – is seen to be completed by end of this year.
Provincial officials also graced the groundbreaking rites led by Provincial Administrator Atty. Kathryn Pioquinto on behalf of Gov. Yap, together with Cortes Mayor Iven Lim, Tagbilaran City Administrator Cathy Torremocha representing Mayor Baba Yap, along with barangay officials of Malayo Norte and Malayo Sur.