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Local executives welcome DoH office move to Samar

August 25, 2008 1:14am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — Three local chief executives in Samar welcomed the proposal to transfer the Department of Health (DoH) central office to the island as this would help speed up the implementation of health initiatives.

"That is good because we will be given proper attention in terms of health services. We all know that Samar is a depressed area," said Basey town Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos.

The mayor of San Jorge town Nancy Grey said the proposed transfer would help realize their goal to augment funds intended for health.

"Our problem now is that the budget for health is very limited. We have a hard time looking for resources," she added.

Zumarraga town mayor Neil Edwin Figueroa said the proposed transfer of the DoH main office to Samar would pave way for depressed municipalities to get assistance from the National Government.

Newly appointed Presidential Adviser on new national government centers Victor Domingo recently announced that he would push for the transfer of the DoH main office to Catbalogan City in Samar.

Mr. Domingo has been tasked to study the possible transfer to the provinces of various government agencies based in Metro Manila.

Among the agencies that are being considered are the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Tourism and the Department of Transportation and Communications.

In his proposal, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. named Eastern Visayas as the possible location of DoH central headquarters.

The province of Samar has one provincial hospital with a 100-bed capacity, three district hospitals, (one with a 75-bed capacity, the other two with 25-bed capacity), and three municipal hospitals with a 10-bed capacity each, or a total of seven government hospitals with 255 beds.

Based on the 2007 population, 2,514 people share a single hospital bed. Each of the 30 rural health units located in Samar has a 1:21,371 population ratio. — Sarwell Q. Meniano, BusinessWorld
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