Surigao del Norte 1st Dist. Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas II. (Photo grabbed from House of Representatives website)


BUTUAN CITY – The construction of the PHP325-million Siargao Island Medical Center (SIMC) in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte is expected to begin anytime soon, an official said Monday.

“The PHP325-million SIMC is a Level 2 hospital as stipulated in Republic Act (RA) 11500,” Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas II told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

R.A. 11500 got the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte on Nov. 13, 2020.

The law upgraded the Siargao District Hospital in the town of Dapa, Surigao del Norte into a Level II General Hospital and increased its bed capacity from 50 to 100.

It also raised the hospital’s professional health care services and facilities that will benefit the residents of the nine towns in Surigao del Norte situated in the islands.

“The hiring of additional medical staff for the SIMC is now starting,” Matugas said.

He also noted that the budget for the SIMC is included in the 2022 National Budget that would ensure the immediate start of the construction of the building and the procurement of facilities and equipment.

The Siargao lawmaker also thanked House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, the chair of the Committee on Health in the Senate, for their assistance in securing the hospital's approval.

“The establishment of the SIMC is part of our rehabilitation and recovery program of Siargao Island from the effects of the pandemic and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette,” Matugas said. (PNA)