FUTURE HOSPITAL. Photo shows the design of the two-story hospital soon to rise in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija. With a total budget of PHP750 million, the construction of the 132-bed medical center is expected to be finished within 18 months to two years. (Contributed Photo)

GAPAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – A 132-bed medical center will soon rise here in line with the city government’s efforts to deliver free and better medical services to the residents.

Mayor Emerson Pascual led the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of PHP750 million, four-story Batang Gapan Medical Center beside the city hall compound on Friday.

Pascual said the project is expected to be finished within 18 months to two years.

"Wala nang magiging kawawa sa Gapan (No one will be miserable in Gapan)," the local chief executive said during the event, referring to financial difficulties being encountered by people in a health crisis.

"Wala nang mangungutang, wala nang magsasanla. At ayoko na may mga kababayan ako na lumalapit sa pulitiko para manghingi ng tulong (There will no one who will be in debt or mortgage. And I do not like my constituents to go to politicians to ask for help)" Pascual added.

He reiterated his dream to make people feel secure with the government.

Pascual assured the public that the city government can sustain its operation based on its budget.

"Wala pong utang rito (there is no debt here)," he said.

Vice Mayor Inocencio “Dodong” Bautista said the hospital is the latest health project of the local government unit having established Libreng Dialysis Center and Libreng Diagnostic Center several months back.

"Kaya mahalaga na magkakasama at magkakaisa ang mga lider (Thus, it is important for the leaders being together and have unity)," Pascual said, stressing the support of the city council to his projects, including the hospital.

The mayor's sister, fourth district board member and mayoral aspirant Joy Pascual, also attended the rites. She had promised to continue her brother's programs.

Gen. Tinio Mayor Isidro Pajarillaga, along with members of the Sangguniang Bayan also joined the event.

Pajarillaga expressed hope his constituents can also benefit from the hospital. (PNA)