GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 June) – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has allotted around P200 million for the development of its permanent regional office building in Region 12.
Marjorie Cabrieto, PhilHealth-12 acting regional vice president, said the preparations are underway for the construction of the building at the Prime Regional Center (PRC) site in Barangay Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City.
She said it will be built in a 2,089 square meter lot donated to the agency by the city government of Koronadal, which owns the PRC complex.
The local government, through City Mayor Peter Miguel, and PhilHealth-12, represented by Cabrieto, signed last week the deed of donation and memorandum of agreement for the development of the site.
Cabrieto said they have scheduled the groundbreaking ceremony on June 17 for the four-story structure, which is due for completion in 18 months.
When completed, the PhilHealth-12 regional office is expected to be among the biggest structures at the PRC complex, which hosts over a dozen offices of regional line agencies.
These include the National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, Commission on Higher Education and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
PhilHealth-12 had long been leasing office spaces in private buildings in nearly two decades in Koronadal City, the regional seat and center of Region 12.
“Time will come when we will no longer rent office spaces as we will already have our own building here in Koronadal City,” Cabrieto said in a statement.
She said they pushed for the construction of a permanent regional office to further improve their operations and service delivery.
The official said they needed additional spaces to properly serve their clients, with the implementation starting this year of the Universal Health Care Act.
Miguel said the site of PhilHealth-12’s planned regional office was originally intended for commercial purposes but local government decided to give it to the agency so it would remain in the city.
“Anything concerning government health programs is close to my heart,” he said in earlier negotiations with PhilHealth-12 officials.
The mayor, who is a doctor, eventually approved the donation of the lot and committed to provide the needed support for the implementation of the project. (MindaNews)