AFTER HELPING WVMC, WVSUMC GET P900-M BUDGET; BARONDA: WE WILL PUT UP ILOILO CITY PEOPLE’S HOSPITAL
(From left) ILOILO City Rep. Jerry Treñas, Senator JV Ejercito, former councilor Julienne “Jam-Jam” Baronda and sister Councilor Love-Love Baronda
Leading Iloilo City congressional candidate Julienne “Jam-Jam” Baronda vowed to use her experience in helping facilitate the approval of the P600-million Heart and Lung Center of the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) and the P300-million Heart, Lung and Kidney Institute of the West Visayas State University Medical Center (WVSUMC) to give birth to the Iloilo City People’s Hospital.
“You know you are assured of a representative in Congress who has friends who can help us achieve our dreams. I have contributed in my own small way to the realization of the big dream of Western and Don Benito. That is why I know we can make Iloilo City People’s Hospital a reality because I have gone through a training of sort through these two projects. I know the processes. I know we can afford it through local and national funding. If Jam-Jam Baronda wins, this will be my legacy to the people of Iloilo City,” Baronda declared.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, who led the groundbreaking rites and the unveiling of project perspective of the two projects on Friday, credited Baronda,his former chief political officer, for doing the legwork that led to the approval of the landmark projects.
“It seemed like a dream two years ago when Jam-Jam Baronda brought me to Western [Visayas Medical Center] and West [Visayas State University Medical Center]. I can remember [WVSUMC hospital chief] Dr. Ramon Guerra was still sick that time but he went down from his hospital room with a hep-lock and met me, and presented to me their dream. Dr. Joseph Dean Nicolo also laid down their problems and plans when I went to WVMC. I assured them of my help. And Jam-Jam would also remind to do this and that for the papers to proceed. So I am happy to have helped and I consider these as my gifts to my fellow Ilonggos,” Sen. Ejercito, the author and principal sponsor of the Universal Health Care Law, said.
Baronda, who is running on the platform of HOPE or Health, Obra (work), Peace and Order, and Education programs and projects, lists as her top priority the creation of Iloilo City People’s Hospital, which will be a shared initiative with the executive department under Cong. Trenas, who would be the city mayor by then.
“Our soon-to-be mayor, Cong. Trenas, and myself will work together to bring into reality the Iloilo City People’s Hospital. He will work to provide the needed human resource and MOOE while I will look for national funds for the construction of the building and the purchase of equipment. And with Team Uswag in the City Council, this dream will become a reality,” Baronda further said.
Baronda shared that she was requested by the doctors to bring Sen. Ejercito, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, to WVMC and WVSUMC so that he would see for himself the sorry state of these regional hospitals.
“I brought Sen. JV to the hospitals upon the request of our friends. When he saw the sad conditions he vowed to help them secure their proposed projects. So he tasked me to be on top of this. I would follow up the needed documents from WVMC or WVSUMC be the concerned departments in Metro Manila. At times I would even hassle Dr. Guerra to fly to Manila immediately so he could sign the required documents. It was challenging but here we are now we are on the first phase of these projects. I think each would need P1.2-billion so should I be lucky to be your representative and with Sen. JV being re-elected, there would be two persons who would push that these projects will be finished,” Baronda said.
Baronda vowed to be the counterpart of Sen. Ejercito in the House to push for the additional budgetary requirements for the next phases of the two projects. She also assured the Ilonggos that she will help Sen. JV push for the expansion of WVMC to a 700-bed capacity hospital.
Ejercito, meanwhile, said: “As chairman of the Senate Committee on Health I want to improve the health facilities. That’s why I included the improvement of health facilities in the Universal Health Care Law. I fought for the HFEP (Health Facilities Enhancement Program) to be re-included in the 2019 General Appropriations Act because I want to rehabilitate, improve and enhance the health facilities all over the country. My target really is to lower the bed-to-patient ratio so that there would be no more patients in the aisles, in the corridors of the hospitals. Hopefully by 2022 we would not see these sad conditions in hospitals anymore.”
He added that once these facilities are done and are operational, Ilonggo patients will not fly to Metro Manila anymore for life-saving procedures as these would be available here in Iloilo City and these would also be more affordable.
The six-storey Heart and Lung Center of the WVMC will house the thoracio-cardiovascular operating rooms, surgical intensive care units, coronary care units, non-invasive cardiology section, vascular section, pulmonary section, wards and private rooms.
The 10-storey Heart, Lung and Kidney Institute of the WVSUMC will be home to the cardiovascular and renal units which can then offer open heart surgeries, heart bypass as well as kidney transplant and other critical procedures
Sen. Ejercito’s mother, San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez, who also flew in supposedly to represent her son but who was able to make it here from Butuan City, said she is very proud of him because he knows how to look back to his roots.
“Sen. JV is half Ilonggo. My mother, his lola, is from Molo. I spent my childhood in Molo before we moved to Bacolod. But I must apologize because I did not teach him how to speak Hiligaynon. He can understand but cannot speak. You know he was studying in Xavier School and they had to learn English, Chinese, Tagalog. I thought teaching him Hiligaynonwas too much already but I regret it. Nonetheless he is more Ilonggo than Tagalog by heart and traits,” Gomez said. (LON VIZ)