BACOLOD CITY – The fund for the establishment of the Bacolod City General Hospital has been included by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in the 2022 National Expenditure Program.

This was confirmed by Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya in a statement on Sunday after he was informed by the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the development.

“We requested Health Secretary Duque for it, in writing last week,” he said.

The Senate has allotted a budget of PHP600 million for the project, which is listed under the DOH-Health Facilities Enhancement Program.

On June 24, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act (RA) 11564, creating the Bacolod City General Hospital and appropriating funds for its establishment.

“Finally, our dream of having our own hospital in Bacolod City will soon be realized…We thank President Rodrigo Duterte for enacting our proposed measure,” said Gasataya, who authored House Bill 6731 for the establishment of the city’s own hospital, after the signing rites.

On May 31, the counterpart Senate Bill 1647 sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri was unanimously approved by the 23 senators.

Gasataya acknowledged the support of Zubiri as well as of Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chair of the health committee.

In the last week of June, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Zubiri vowed to look for funding sources aside from the amount stated in the bill he sponsored in the Senate.

In addition to the PHP600 million that was initially provided for in the bill, the senator will find other sources starting with an allocation of PHP200 million to augment the budget for the creation of the Bacolod City General Hospital, he added.

Although the city government has not yet identified the location of the hospital, Leonardia said in coordination with Gasataya, they would seriously pursue prospective lot donors. (PNA)