Scheme to help rebuild city hospital suggested

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Friday, February 7, 2014

ADOPT a staircase, adopt an emergency room, adopt an entire floor, or even adopt the entire Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

Mayor Michael Rama discovered a new game plan on the rebuilding of CCMC, the “adoption program.”

He thought of this when he was invited for a dinner meeting with international consuls from the Consular Corps of Cebu, Wednesday night at Casino Español.


From the start, Rama already hinted that he needs help with the rebuilding of CCMC.

He said that to be practical about it, the Council is not supportive of his move because majority of the members are not his allies.

His administration, said Rama, is geared towards “People Publicly Driven Governance.”

It was a gathering of the consuls corps group and Rama was the guest of honor.

At one point, Consul Enrique Benedicto of Belgium asked Rama what kind of help he expects from the group.

“We need help. We need to bring back the hospital...It should emerge once again and be called the people’s hospital. Help us, you are part of the Cebu City Government,” said Rama.

Consul Anton Perdices of Spain suggested that a formal letter be sent to each of the consuls so that they can liaise with their respective countries.


At least 15 consuls and honorary consuls attended the dinner meeting.

Rama said he will comply with the request.

“To ask for financial help from each country is quite difficult. Could you commit to paying for the cost of freight if we send materials or hospital equipment?” asked Bendicto.

Rama said he couldn’t make such a promise. Spending for freight and shipping goes through the Council.


Just recently, Councilors James Cuenco and Dave Tumulak sponsored a resolution to charge under the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) funds the amount of $56,000 for the freight and shipping of life support equipment from the United States.

The equipment are already at the Cebu International Port but won’t be released until payment is made.

The committees on budget and finance and social services are still asking the proponents to submit a breakdown of the expenses, totaling P2.5 million, which is the equivalent of $56,000 at the exchange rate of P45 to a dollar.

This prompted Rama to suggest an adoption program, which can be implemented among the consuls of the different countries.

“I cannot commit with the freight expenses because it passes through the Council, I’m just being practical. One country can adopt the emergency room then another the morgue. Another country can adopt the pediatric wing, the laboratory wing or the operation room or even the staircase,” said Rama.

“China may even say that it will adopt the entire CCMC or maybe just half of it,” said Rama in jest while looking at China’s Consul General Zhang Weiguo.

Austria’s Consul Julie Alegrado asked if there is an estimated budget that a country might have to shoulder for the adoption policy.

Rama said he will secure the appropriate documentation.

Israel’s Consul Emily Benedicto-Chioson, also the corps’ chairperson, said a formal letter from the Cebu City Government would be a good idea so there will be basis for Israel to extend assistance.

Chioson said Israel is not fond of giving financial assistance but will extend help in terms of equipment and service.

When Typhoon Yolanda badly affected northern Cebu towns last Nov. 8, the Israeli Government sent a medical team and half-a-million-dollars-worth of medicines at the Severo Verallo Memorial Hospital.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 07, 2014.

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