FINALLY, after years of advocating in this space for the creation of a city hospital the administration of Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio realizes that there is really such a need to provide a city-owned/operated health facility. We just do not know if the problem that was brought by the CoViD 19 pandemic has something to do with such realization. What is clear however, is that soon the hospital which is expected to address the health needs of over one and a half million Davaoenos will be available at a subsidized cost benefitting more the city’s disadvantaged sector.

     The initial move by the mayor to see through the realization of the long-delayed project was her issuance of Executive Order No. 41 dated August 27, 2021.  The said EO created the bodies that will be tasked to oversee the crafting of the different steps in the establishment of the city hospital until it starts its operation.

     We are extremely confident that the two bodies namely, the Executive Committee (Execom) and the Technical Working Group (TWG) will do their job right and above politics because the members are all well-known personalities in the city’s local government unit, in the academe and professionals in the medical field. We need not mention them here but we have no doubt that their names ring a giant bell in their respective arena of service and profession.

     Actually, over the past years and administrations, we had been espousing for at least two major projects for the city government to undertake. One is the establishment of a city college to cater again to the disadvantaged school-aged population; and second, the establishment of a city-owned hospital.  Our first wish appeared to have been met. If we could remember right, it was councilor Pilar Braga, who then chaired the Council Committee on Education, who toiled hard for the implementation of a city college. Sadly though, we have lost track whether it has been successfully carried to full operation. The last time we heard about it was that it was squatting for its classes for limited courses in some rooms of the Davao City High School. Whether the said college has finally moved to its own building and increased the number of courses it offered, we are not anymore apprised.

     Now we have this other espousal of ours, a city-owned hospital. Our fervent hope is that it can go beyond the creation of an Execom and a TWG; that is, after the two bodies have accomplished the responsibilities assigned to them the hospital building and all its facilities and equipment will be on hand and ready for use. 

     We are also looking forward to the attainment of that level of development for the project where the city, through its local legislative body, will have already been able to create the various plantilla positions for the people who are to run the operation of the hospital. Hopefully too, the Council at the same time will have passed the ordinance setting aside a continuing operating budget for the hospital. It is also our take that only by accomplishing these legal requirements that the availability of medicines and laboratory needs, as well as the manpower to run the Level 3 hospital can be assured.

     Indeed we are extremely elated with this development. Every Davaoeno has to take their hats off Mayor Sara. For certain it was not only us who were waiting for this kind of project. A good number of Davaoenos could have been longing for a city hospital to come. And finally, the long wait may be over. That is, if what we earlier said, it goes beyond the Execom and TWG level especially with the uncertainties the forthcoming local and national elections may bring.

     Yes, the evolution of this project from some kind of just one of the people’s Wish List into full reality may start a new era in the city. Imagine that when the hospital starts operation it will surely be a huge load off the shoulders of the national tertiary hospital, the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC)!

     Is it not nice for us here in Davao City to at least have another option where to seek medical services that would be affordable yet still of quality?

     Let us keep our fingers crossed on this and pray hard for the best to happen. And by the way, when and how long is the time table given to the Execom and the TWG to accomplish their jobs? We need to know so the people’s initial jubilation will not turn  into anxiety.





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