TACLOBAN CITY- A new, bigger and modern Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) is soon to rise in a northern part of this city.
This after President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino led groundbreaking ceremonies on February 25 signaling for the construction of the new regional medical center that would cater to the medical needs of the people of the region.
The President was joined by several of his Cabinet members who included his rehabilitation czar, former senator Panfilo Lacson and Health Secretary Enrique Ona who announced that the construction of the new EVRMC would be in partnership with different private institutions and the national government through the Department of Health.
Also present during the groundbreaking ceremonies of the new EVRMC, located at Barangay Cabalawan, were Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
The new EVRMC will sit on a 25-hectare lot owned by the DOH and will be constructed initially at the amount of P500 million. It will have a 500-bed capacity.
“It is designed to be the best medical center outside Metro Manila equipped with state of the art medical equipment,” Doctor Cirilo Galindez, EVRMC chief of hospital, said.
According to Galindez, the construction of the new EVRMC would start “soon” and is expected to be finished by 2016.
The current EVRMC, which is to celebrate its 100 centennial anniversary in two years time, would be transferred back to the provincial government who owns the lot where it is located along Magsaysay Boulevard.
During the supertyphoon Yolanda, the hospital was reached by the storm surge as it is located just at the back of the Cancabato Bay.
Sec. Ona had earlier said that there is now a need to relocate the biggest government-run hospital in the region to accommodate a bigger number of clients.
At present, the said hospital could only accommodate around 300 inpatients and almost similar number of out-patients.
EVRMC is being manned by 115 doctors and close to 200 nurses.
Mr. Aquino also visited Tanauan town, here in Leyte, to also ground break the town’s memorial park to remember the 1,370 people who perished during the supertyphoon.
He also lead in the groundbreaking of permanent resettlement site located in Barangay Pago which could accommodate 366 families who came from the six no-build zone villages of said town.
The President, in his speech, underscored his purpose why he chose to celebrate EDSA People Power I in Yolanda-hit areas like Tanauan and Tacloban instead in Metro Manila.
“Lagpas sa pagtitipun sa isang kalsada ang kinakatawan ng EDSA.Ang EDSA ay pagdiriwang ng kakayahan ng Pilipino bumangon mula sa anumang pagsubok at daingin ang anumang madilim na kabanata ng ating kasaysayan,” the President said.
His visit to Tanauan, however, was met with protest from the People Surge, a coalition of different organizations, demanding of P40,000 for each family affected, abolish the no build zone policy and to continue the giving of food packs contrary to the March 31,2014 deadline of the government.
“This is to show our disgust to his opposition to our demands,” Jun Berino of the said group said.
By: JOEY A. GABIETA