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Hospital controversy

/ 11:49 AM October 29, 2013

Here we go again. The Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) -dominated city council is considering opposing the plan of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to have the Cebu City Medical Center demolished as the councilors now plan to retrofit the hospital.

The mayor ordered the hospital’s demolition after it was declared unsafe for occupancy as it was badly affected by the recent 7.2-magnitude earthquake.

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The mayor said he wanted to set up a new 1,000-bed, state-of-the-art hospital. But the BO-PK councilors want to put a damper on his plan for reasons that many suspect are basically political.

BO-PK councilors know that if the mayor succeeds in building a new city hospital it would be doubly hard for their leader, former congressman Tomas Osmeña, to make a comeback. Which is why they are blocking efforts of the mayor.

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But I think their resistance will be futile because it is the call of the mayor as chief executive to decide what to do with the badly damaged and unsafe hospital.

Secondly, the mayor is raising funds for its construction precisely because he knows that he won’t get the support of the BO-PK-dominated council.

He is raising funds directly from the people and no city funds will be used to finance the construction.

The buck stops with the mayor and not the City Council. If anything bad happens, it is the mayor who is basically responsible and not the council.

By the way, support for the project of the mayor is snowballing as many sectors are raising funds to help build the new hospital.

I think the BO-PK-dominated council should be sensitive to the needs of the people and set aside partisan politics at this point.

After all, the mayor will not forsake basic services unlike his predecessor who did so to establish the South Reclamation Project.

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* * *

Financial help continues to pour in for victims of the earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu. We have witnessed the massive relief operations conducted by members of the private sector like the ABS-CBN, GMA 7, TV5 and other civic groups in order to help our brothers and sisters in Bohol.

Cebuanos are prioritizing Bohol over Cebu because Bohol was severely damaged following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake. I am impressed by the bayanihan spirit shown by Cebuanos from all the sectors.

And I would like to call on generous Cebuanos to continue extending assistance to our brothers and sisters in Bohol. We should donate because we are lucky that we were spared so much damage.

* * *

I am happy with the recent decision of the city government to demolish the city hospital and the plan to build a new one. A group of civic-minded citizens have banded together to help. The Care CCMC Movement headed by Dr. Shawn Espina and others like Marc Canton and Dr. Rowena Burden support the mayor’s plan to construct a 1,000 bed state-of-the-art hospital.

One of the group’s plans is to help the mayor raise the necessary funds to finance the construction of the new hospital.

I was also informed that many individuals and organizations have committed to support the donation drive to provide the public with a hospital that is at par with a private hospital in services and equipment.

This would provide the residents of the city with an option to go to a first-class public hospital.

I think it is wrong for the BO-PK-dominated city council to deprive the people of Cebu of this opportunity.

Retrofitting the CCMC would only extend the life of an edifice but does not ensure that it is safe and can withstand another tremor.

Please give the people a hospital that has improved basic medical services and better equipment unlike today where three patients have to share one hospital bed.

Give the people a break from your brand of politics.

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TAGS: Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), Cebu, Cebu City Medical Center, column, demolition, Earthquake, hospital, opinion
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