TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- “We are not after the number of hospitals now. We are after the quality of the services of our hospitals.”
This was Governor Manuel Mamba’s response to provincial board members criticized him for closing several community hospitals and “prioritizing” infrastructure projects over social services.
In a Cagandang Balita radio interview, Mamba said he will focus on improving quality of health services. He also pointed out the number of hospitals which were near each other, adding that his road concreting programs enabled easy access to hospitals.
“Katulad ng Baggao [there are] three hospitals there… Gawin na nating isa at sinesemento na lahat ng roads doon. In due time, ang lalapit na ng mga ospital. Ang importante yung capacity, capability, and the quality of services ng mga ospital natin,” he added.
The governor also mentioned Ballesteros and Abulug hospitals as examples.
Mamba also jabbed former Governor Alvaro Antonio, claiming the previous administration concreted only 37 kilometers of roads in nine years.
Further, Mamba compared Cagayan to Isabela, which he said was “richer” and had better roads.
“Aanim lang ang ospital nila [Isabela] na minemaintain ng provincial government. Clinose nila yung iba. Ngayon narerespondehan lahat nila dahil nga maganda na yung kanilang [quality]… Sa atin 13 ang hospitals natin. How can you maintain 13 hospitals na may quality services? You cannot,” Mamba said.
Mamba further suggested to the provincial board to focus instead in monitoring implementation of the budget and programs.
However, the board said they already gave additional P26 million as funds in their approved version of the 2017 budget. This was for added personnel in an attempt to reinstate operations of closed hospitals.
The Provincial Health Office earlier said the hospital closures were caused by lack of manpower.
“Anong gagawin ninyo sa mga pondong inapprove dito sa sangguniang panlalawigan kung hindi ninyo susundin sa provincial health office? That’s the one we approved, to reinstate again all hospitals,” Vice Governor Melvin “Boy” Vargas Jr said in a session.
Further, the board also criticized Mamba for allocating over P130 million funds in the Bangag Subcapitol, saying the funds could have been used for social services and health services. Northernforum.net