Oliver Owen Garcia, ex-officio member of the provincial board, said Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata has initiated talks with the DOH regional office for the location of the proposed hospital.
Hosting the hospital, he said, is advantageous to the city and the province because it will save families from more expenses in bringing their patients to Davao City, where a state-run mental hospital is located.
He said a big number of patients in Maramag's Happy Home Institute is from Valencia.
Garcia quoted the health regional director as saying the region has no sufficient publicly-owned facility on mental health. He also cited that the DOH regional office was having difficulty looking for a site to be hosted by a local government.
The city government has eyed a usufruct agreement with the DOH but Garcia admitted the deal has not been closed yet.
"It is still being negotiated," he said, adding he has no idea of the funding as of press time.
Garcia also admitted the possible stigma against a mental hospital being located in Valencia City.
He said the natural reaction was not good considering the image of mental hospitals. But he cited that the stigma is due to the quality of the hospital.
The city government, he said, has set a condition for the hospital to be located in Valencia that it has to comply with good standards.
He said patients and their families' visit to the hospital has to be pleasant. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)