GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 12 January) — The Department of Health (DOH) has allocated around P140 million for the construction of more community health facilities this year in parts of South Cotabato province.
Deputy House Speaker and South Cotabato second district Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez said Friday the approved projects, which were mainly proposed by his office, include hospital buildings, lying-in or birthing homes and barangay health stations.
He said around P100 million was initially set aside by the DOH to continue with the development of the Upper Valley Community Hospital in Surallah town.
The remaining P40 million was allotted for the construction of lying-in and barangay health stations in the province’s second district, he said.
“This is to address the problem on maternal mortality in areas that don’t have access to standard birthing facilities,” he said.
Hernandez said around P25 million worth of these projects were proposed out of his funding allocation as Deputy House Speaker.
He said they are targeting to construct an additional 20 lying-in and barangay health stations in identified remote areas in the province.
Each facility would cost P2 million or P1.2 million for the building and P800,000 for the equipment, he said.
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office, said the construction of additional lying-in centers will complement with their ongoing efforts to provide accessible birthing facilities throughout the province.
He said these would be put up in areas that still don’t have existing birthing homes and related facilities.
“We’re hoping that our concerned local government units will complement these efforts by providing the manpower or personnel for the planned facilities,” he said.
As of the end of 2017, Aturdido said the province already posted a 91 percent rating in terms of facility-based deliveries.
This means that majority of pregnant mothers in the province have access to proper birthing facilities and handled by doctors, nurses, midwives and other skilled birthing attendants.
“We’re almost there but we still need to address that small gap,” he added. (MindaNews)