2 groups vow to help rebuild Cebu hospital

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TWO organizations have expressed interest to help the Cebu City Government build a new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

Mayor Michael Rama said Monday that Operation Smile will be extending P100 million to the City, which will cover, among others, the construction of the first floor of the new hospital.

The plan is for the new government hospital to have at least five storeys and a 400-bed capacity.


Aside from Operation Smile, the mayor said that the Philippine Pediatrics Society Inc. Central Visayas Chapter will also help the City by shouldering the cost of construction of the new hospital’s pediatric ward.

The mayor did not disclose how much that will cost.

Cebu lost around P819 million worth of public infrastructure like hospitals, schools and roads, as a result of the quake last October. 15, 2013.

The total damage to infrastructure amounted to P2.2 billion, much of it in Bohol Province.

The quake, which killed 222 persons and injured nearly 1,000 others, also leveled some historic churches in Bohol and deprived Cebu of much of its Palace of Justice, apart from the CCMC.

More than P71 million in emergency assistance was released to the quake’s survivors, the national disaster council said in its last quake report, dated November 3.

But the quake also provoked an outpouring of support from the private sector, which packed and sent thousands of bags of relief goods and water, and raised funds for the recovery effort.

Rama said he was informed about the offer of assistance by Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, who serves on the board of governors of Operation Smile.

Operation Smile is a non-profit humanitarian and medical relief organization, which enlists volunteer-doctors all over the world to operate on indigent children with cleft lips and other facial deformities.


Rama said he was able to talk to Yeung last Valentine’s Day, when he officiated the wedding of the latter’s staff.

“We hope this will all be realized. It (new hospital) will be a people’s hospital,” said Rama in his regular news conference on Monday.

Based on the estimates earlier made by the CCMC ad hoc committee, the construction of a new hospital will cost at least P1 billion. The committee is has been tasked to formulate plans for the new CCMC.

As for the City’s counterpart for the project, Rama said Monday that he will include in the first supplemental budget of the City this year an appropriation for the building of a new hospital.

He said he will schedule a meeting with the members of the City Council, so both the executive and legislative departments will identify how much the City should spend.

Rama said he hopes to have the City’s additional budget for 2014 submitted to the council for their deliberation and approval soon.


In a related development, the City is planning to expand its “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko” fund drive.

Last Friday, Public Information Office chief Carlo Dugaduga sent a letter to Department of Education Cebu City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud and told her that the City will be placing water containers in the public elementary and secondary schools for the campaign.

This way, students and teachers can contribute to the building of a new hospital.

At present, the City’s water containers are placed only in the City Hall building, the city’s markets and at the CCMC temporary hospital situated in the Bureau of Fire Protection-Central Visayas complex on N. Bacalso Ave.

Almost four months after it was launched, the City has already raised at least P11 million in its “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko” campaign.

This does not include yet the P10,000 financial assistance that the Bayawan City of Negros Oriental extended to Cebu City. The aid was turned over to the City last week. (PDF/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 18, 2014.

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