MANILA, Philippines – A PHP325-million Siargao Island Medical Center (SIMC) in Surigao del Norte is expected to rise in the tourist-favorite destination, which was ravaged by Typhoon Odette last year.
“The establishment of the SIMC is part of our rehabilitation and recovery program of Siargao Island from the effects of the pandemic and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette,” said Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas II.
Matugas said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency that the PHP325-million SIMC is a Level 2 hospital as stipulated in Republic Act (RA) 11500.
The law paved the way for the upgrading of the Siargao District Hospital with the following improvements, among others, as a Level 2 Hospital:
- Increase in bed capacity from 50 to 100
- Raised professional health care services and facilities, with departmentalized clinical services
- Presence of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for critically ill patients
- Respiratory therapy services
- High Risk Pregnancy Unit
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
- Dental Clinic
- 2nd level x-ray
- Tertiary clinical laboratory
- Presence of specialist doctors like pediatricians and gynecologists, etc.
- Placement of the hospital under the direct supervision and control of the Department of Health (DOH).
Matugas also said that this will increase job opportunities for the workforce of SIMC, including doctors, nurses, and support personnel.
The Siargao lawmaker filed House Bill (HB) No.6365 last February 20, 2020, seeking to turn the Siargao District Hospital in the Municipality of Dapa to a Level 2 general hospital.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go sponsored a counterpart bill, which later became Republic Act No. 1150, and was unanimously approved by the Senate, giving the bill a huge boost.
R.A. 11500 got the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte on Nov. 13, 2020.
Matugas said that the budget for the SIMC is included in the 2022 National Budget, thus, the start of the construction and the procurement of facilities and equipment for the medical center is assured.
Not taking all the credit for himself, Matugas extended his gratitude to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, the chair of the Committee on Health in the Senate, for their significant roles in concretizing the plans for an upgraded Medical Center in the island.
Sources: Philippine News Agency, Manila Bulletin