Re-elected third district Rep. Alexie Tutor will once again propose in Congress the renationalization of the Candijay Community Hospital (CCH) as Governor Art Yap, who was previously reluctant in supporting the measure, is on his way out of office.
According to Tutor, she will file another bill that will convert the CCH into a district hospital and increase its bed capacity while transferring it from the administration of the province to the Department of Health (DOH).
“Ako man jud ning nakita na tinuod na lisod jud diri sa third district kay of the three districts, ang third ra ang way kaugalingon na matawag nato na hospital managed by the DOH,” said Tutor.
Both the first and second districts have DOH-run hospitals in the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City and Don Emilio Del Valle Hospital in Ubay, respectively.
In November 2020, Tutor’s bill which sought the CCH’s renationalization was approved by the House’s health committee but the measure did not move forward after she failed to secure an endorsement from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) which was dominated by Yap’s allies.
The provincial government through Dr. Yul Lopez who heads the Capitol’s hospital services department pointed out the possible redundancy of renationalizing the hospital considering that the province’s hospitals are covered by the Universal Healthcare Law which entails national government support for local health facilities.
Meanwhile, amid mounting support for Tutor’s initiative, Yap issued an ultimatum saying that he will only back the measure if the congresswoman secures a written assurance from the DOH stating that it will allocate P100 million for the renationalization and the modernization of the CCH.
Tutor’s bill was then left in limbo after she failed to get the province’s endorsement.
It was up to the Provincial Health Board chaired by Yap to decide on whether or not the provincial government, with the approval of the SP, will endorse Tutor’s bill in Congress.
“That is not how the budgeting and the procedure of renationalization works. He [Yap] is aware of that being a former congressman…I have done my part. If I cannot get the support from the province, then probably it is not yet the perfect time. I will wait for that perfect time to come,” said Tutor in a 2020 statement.
However, the change in leadership in both executive and legislative branches of the provincial government is expected to once again set the CCH’s renationalization in motion.
Time has come
In a press briefing on Thursday, Tutor said Governor-elect Aris Aumentado has assured support for the measure.
“As promised by our Governor-elect Aris Aumentado iya gyud kong tabangan inubanan ni Vice Governor-elect Victor Balite na mahimong tinuod na mabalik ang atong hospital sa Candijay under DOH management,” said Tutor.
Yap lost to Aumentado in his reelection bid while the incoming SP will also be dominated by allies of both Tutor and Aumentado who ran under the same coalition in the 2022 polls.
According to Tutor, the DOH will have more budget to improve the CCH through the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
This will also modernize the facility without financial burden on the provincial government which was previously planning to take out a loan for the hospital’s improvement.
“Dako kaayo ang deperensya because we have 10 hospitals under the provincial government unya ang budget ana e-divide pa nimo sa 10 kabuok. Pila raman na siya ang mahatag na pahat sa matag provincial hospital. Unlike og under siya sa DOH, ang mahitabo ana naa na siya under sa GAA,” Tutor said. (A. Doydora)