NEW GOVERNOR. Albay Governor-elect Noel Rosal says on Monday (June 20, 2022) he will prioritize the delivery of health services to residents in remote areas. Rosal won in the May elections by a margin of more than 230,000 votes against outgoing Gov. Al Francis Bichara. (PNA file photo)

LEGAZPI CITY – Albay Governor-elect Noel Rosal said he would prioritize concerns on health services which were brought to his attention by residents in remote areas during his campaign sorties.

In an interview on Monday, Rosal, now the outgoing mayor here, said he was moved by different stories narrated to him by residents with regard to their difficulties in times of medical emergency.

“Albay has 11 emergency hospitals but they lack doctors, hospital personnel, and medicines. The provincial government will prioritize filling up these gaps. We really have to look after the medical attention needed by our constituents in times of emergencies, and even in providing them medical treatments during regular days, particularly those residing in the remote areas,” Rosal said.

He retold the story of a patient who was needing immediate attention but failed to receive it.

“Because he was residing on the island barangay of San Miguel in Tabaco City, his family had to bring him to the city proper for treatment because the supposed emergency hospital on the island is not equipped with apparatus to treat the patient,” Rosal said.

He was also irked by reports that most of these hospitals do not have sufficient doctors and staff to deal with emergency cases.

“I got reports that doctors in some of these hospitals are reporting only at least two days a week. This is really sad,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rosal said he is eyeing developing the different coastal areas with beautiful tourist spots that could draw investors and visitors.

“I was so amazed when I discovered that there are a lot of white sand beaches in Albay facing the Pacific Ocean that resemble those in Boracay island,” he noted.

Rosal said he would prioritize a project that would connect these islands to the mainland towns and cities.

“If we could connect these islands of Rapu-Rapu, Batan, and Cagraray to the mainland of our province, there is a big potential to make them tourist destinations, with the presence of pristine white beaches,” he said.

After winning as governor in the May 9 elections, Rosal went back to the remote areas where he campaigned, including the island villages, to thank the residents for giving him a large margin of votes over his opponent.

He won in all the cities and towns of Albay by a margin of more than 230,000 votes against outgoing Gov. Al Francis Bichara. (With a report from Connie D. Calipay/PNA)