‘Pacman’ leads groundbreaking for Sarangani hospital

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 August)—World boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Monday led the groundbreaking ceremony for a multi-million medical facility under the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The 200-bed tertiary medical facility in Alabel town will be the first for Sarangani, and was one of Pacquiao’s campaign promises to the constituents of the 18-year-old province.

Late last year, the boxer-politician disclosed that Aquino committed P200 million for the construction of a provincial hospital.

The Development Bank of the Philippines is funding the hospital project under the Credit for Better Health Care Program, according to a project brief.

It shall be called the Sarangani Medical Center.

Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez assisted Pacquiao and Department of Health officials during the groundbreaking rites at the capitol compound.

The establishment and running of the hospital will be made possible through PPP arrangements, well in keeping with a policy cornerstone of President Aquino, a statement from the Sarangani information office said.

The conception and eventual construction and operation of the new hospital is the result of unparalleled initiative and cooperation at all levels of government, it said.

Envisioned as a key project, the state-of-the-art hospital is expected to remain highly accessible and, by relying on private sector management expertise, will provide appropriate care efficiently to all patients-in-need.

In particular, better medical management can be provided for sick children, complicated obstetric cases, and other patients with dire illnesses thereby contributing to the DOH‘s and the country’s commitment to addressing key U.N. Millennium Development Goals, the statement said.

The bringing together of the concerned government and private parties, in particular, is the culmination of a series of extensive consultations made possible by the program. It is hoped that the Sarangani Medical Center will be the first of many PPP engagements that will effectively address the urgent deficiencies of the country’s health sector.

The United Architects of the Philippines, which is supporting the PPP program, drafted the architectural design of the medical center. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)