Gwen to prioritize infra projects, hospitals upgrade in 2020 budget

By: Rosalie Abatayo October 08,2019 - 05:37 PM

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Infrastructure projects and the upgrading of medical services in provincial and district hospitals will get the biggest share of the 2020 budget that Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will soon submit to the 15th Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Garcia said she wanted the four provincial hospitals to be upgraded to a level two classification so these will already have intensive care units (ICUs).

Under its current level one classification, the provincial hospitals located in the Bogo and Danao cities in northern Cebu, Carcar City in the south and Balamban town in the midwestern part of the province only cater to patients that require minor supervision.

Also, Garcia wanted the 12 district hospitals that are run by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) to be upgraded from its current 25 bed capacity to a 100-bed capacity medical facility.

During her visit to Bantayan Island from September 30 to October 1, Garcia made a promise to increase to 100 beds the capacity of the island’s district hospital.

The same upgrade will also be made for the district hospital located in San Francisco town in Camotes Island.

While Garcia continues to consult with the Committee on Budget and Appropriations, Provincial Budget Office and Provincial Treasurer on the final amount of the 2020 budget that she will soon endorse to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for the passage of an appropriation ordinance, the governor said that the allocation will “certainly be a lot higher than the 2019 budget.”

“I have no idea yet (on the final amount of the 2020 budget) but expect that we will really be focusing a big chunk of the budget on infrastructure and upgrading of our medical services. Certainly, it (the 2020 budget) will be much much higher than the present 2019 budget which I believe is at P4.7 billion. It will be a lot higher than that,” Garcia said in an interview on Tuesday, October 8.

“The infrastructure (allocation) will cover (the) concreting of barangay and provincial roads, the setting up of more level three water systems and addressing the repairs or improvement of existing infrastructures of our towns and barangays,” she added.

In August, the 15th Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed Supplemental Budget no. 1 amounting to P1.2 billion. This was in addition to the 2019 budget of P4.7 billion.

The bulk of the allocation amounting to around P800 million was set aside for infrastructure projects that included the improve of provincial roads and the establishment of water systems in the countryside.

SB1 also included allocation for the revival of the Pasigarbo sa Sugbu that was held on the same month and for the release of barangays workers incentives scheduled in December.

The provincial government already completed bidding for the concreting of 66 kilometers of provincial roads and is now calling for bidding for another 44 kilometers of barangay roads.  These projects are expected to commence during the fourth quarter of the year.

Garcia said infrastructure allocation in her 2020 budget will include the concreting of other road networks that were not yet funded in this year’s SB1.

Other infrastructure projects planned next year include the improvement of  municipal plazas and buildings, barangay halls and health centers, and the establishment of covered courts that are often used as evacuation centers in times of calamities. / dcb

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TAGS: 15h Sanguniang Panlalawigan, 2020 budget, district hospitals, Gwen Garcia, Infrastructure projects, level two hospital, medical update

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