BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The city council here has approved on Wednesday 18 November a resolution appealing to City Mayor Evelio Leonardia to consider using the available funds in building a city-owned public hospital.
This was in contrast to the proposed resolution authored by Councilor Wilson “Jun” Gamboa to consider using the available credit in banks for the building of the city-owned public hospital in Bacolod City.
The proposed resolution of Gamboa said, “there are still available credit line for the City of Bacolod to be availed of” after the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) granted the P1.7 billion loan of the city government to fund its four flagship projects.
In 2018, the Leonardia administration presented four flagship projects that include the P800 million Bacolod Masskara Coliseum, P350 million development of Progreso Village Relocation Site, P350 million Bacolod City College Site Development and Facilities, and the P200 million construction of roads and bridges.
Gamboa said the city council has made a subsidiary motion correcting a portion of the proposed resolution of getting the funds for the city-owned hospital from the “credit in banks” to “available funds”.
The councilor explained the “available funds” include available open credit with several banks, grants, bonds, and appropriation from the national government and institutions.
“They don’t like to make any reference to the P1.7 billion loan because the GP (Grupo Progreso) councilors said it was already earmarked to the four flagship projects,” he added.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said the proposed resolution of Gamboa was already moot and academic since there was a subsidiary motion unanimously approved by the city council and there is already a bill in the Senate stating the establishment of the city-owned hospital.
“The hospital was the campaign promise of Grupo Progreso only that it should be funded by the national government,” the vice mayor said.
On 19 October 2020, the Senate Committee on Health and Demography approved the House Bill 6731 authored by Congressman Greg Gasataya along with Senate Bill 1647 filed by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri establishing the Bacolod City General Hospital.
“Bacolod City as a highly urbanized city, and now with a population of more than 600,000 people, we need to be self-reliant in our health services and not depend on the national government,” the councilor said.