PRIORITIZING HEALTH SERVICES. Negros Oriental Governor Manuel "Chaco" Sagarbarria meets with provincial government doctors at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall in Dumaguete City on Tuesday (June 6, 2023). The governor, who assumed the post last May 31 following the death of Gov. Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes, said his administration will prioritize the health sector. (Photo courtesy of Capitol PIO)

DUMAGUETE CITY – Newly installed Negros Oriental Governor Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria will prioritize health services after assuming the post last May 31 following the demise of Gov. Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes.

Sagarbarria met with doctors from the different hospitals of the provincial government on Tuesday morning at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall here.

With him were Provincial Administrator Arthur Fran Tolcidas and Board Member Bruno Bouffard III, a media release on the Capitol’s Facebook said.

Sagarbarria called for unity and hard work among the doctors to help and provide the health necessities of the province’s residents.

The governor also announced the creation of a separate Bids and Awards Committee specifically for hospitals to fast-track the procurement of equipment and medicines.

He will also “follow their recommendations” on the type of medicines and equipment for the hospitals.

There are seven community primary hospitals, seven district hospitals, and the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital in the province.

Meanwhile, Sagarbarria has named former Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Woodrow “RR” Maquiling Jr. as the executive director of the Negros Oriental Tourism Board and chairperson of the Negros Oriental Provincial Tourism Council.

Maquiling was DOT Undersecretary during the administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte.

He hails from this capital city, and is the son of incumbent Board Member Woodrow Maquiling Sr.

The Tourism Board shall take the lead in all matters related to the development of tourism, culture and the arts of the province.

The Negros Oriental Provincial Tourism Unit is directed to report to the Tourism Board Executive Director, the governor said in his Executive Order No. 3 which stipulates the appointment of Maquiling Jr. (PNA)