Council snubs P500M for new CCMC building in 2014 budget
DR. Gloria Duterte presented to the City Council yesterday the P808.9-million proposed budget for the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) which included a capital outlay of P500 million for the phase 1 of the “new hospital.”
But the council will not be able to entertain Duterte’s P500-million budget request for now because this was not among the items mentioned in Mayor Michael Rama’s P10.5-billion budget proposal, said Councilor Margot Osmeña.
Osmeña said the council’s task is only to review the 2014 budget proposal and not make any new “insertions.”
The P500 million budget request, she said, can be put to good use if spent on the city’s other needs.
“To put P500 million here (hospital construction) will only take away (funds) from others,” she told Duterte.
Osmeña said the city does not really need a huge amount to start building a new hospital to replace the 45-year-old CCMC building which was declared unfit for occupancy following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15.
The budget committee chairperson said there is about P100 million in unspent 2012 calamity funds and another P8 million from the city’s “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko” campaign which could be used to start the initial stages of the 1,000-bed capacity hospital that Rama is proposing.
Duterte appeared before the council in yesterday’s budget hearing to present CCMC’s 2014 budget. She submitted to the executive department a budget request of P493.4 million to fund CCMC operations next year, which formed part of Rama’s P10.5-billion request next year.
Duterte told the council that they revised their 2014 budget request to reduce some items which may no longer be needed in their operation of a temporary hospital at the Bureau of Fire Protection regional office.
Their P493.4 budget request was made before the Oct. 15-earthquake, said Duterte, who sought yesterday the reduction of their drugs and medicines budget from P80 million to P39.7 million in her revised budget. Also reduced is her request for subsistence appropriation from P3.9 million to P2.5 million.
However, Duterte is seeking an addition of P500 million in their 2014 hospital allocation to start the construction of a new CCMC building estimated to cost a total of P1.5 billion.
Two sites – the South Road Properties and the lot occupied by the old CCMC building – are being considered for the construction of Rama’s dream hospital.
Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos, a member of the CCMC board, said that a group of architects and hospital design experts whom Rama tapped are now working on the design of the new CCMC.
Rama is also expected to formally announce soon his choice of a location for the new city hospital.
“We also know that time is of the essence,” said delos Santos.
Duterte told the council that they continue to keep CCMC’s 488 personnel despite their transfer into the BFP office on October 17. These include 93 regular workers, 51 contractuals and 344 casual workers.
“Do you still need all these people?” Osmeña asked.
Keeping CCMC’s existing manpower would mean spending P197 million on their salaries and wages next year.
Duterte said they had to keep their existing personnel to keep CCMC’s accreditation as a level three hospital. A 300-bed capacity hospital must have at least 443 personnel based on the Department of Health (DOH) guidelines.
She explained that part of their manpower will be reassigned within the month to the Don Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (40 workers), the St. Anthony’s Mother and Child Hospital (39 workers), the City Health Department (23 workers) and the Guba Community Hospital (20 workers).
DVSMMC has allocated 150 beds while St. Anthony’s committed 50 beds in their hospital to accommodate Cebu City patients while the city government is still building a new hospital.
Duterte said DOH has allowed the city government to expand hospital operations to other hospital facilities and to operate a temporary city hospital at the BFP building in 2014.
“We’ve talked to secretary Ona and they are now lenient on the situation of CCMC because we are on a state of calamity,” delos Santos told the council.
She said that the executive department also continues to find an alternative area which they may use as a temporary hospital in case DOH would already disapprove of the hospital operations at the BFP building. /Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters
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