Parañaque City Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez and Health Secretary Enrique Ona led the formal opening and blessing of the new, 120-bed Ospital ng Parañaque last Sunday. Built in a record time of only eight months, it is now one of the most modern public health facilities in Metro Manila.
The city government spent Php200 million to build the six-storey hospital, which broke ground on August 31, 2013 – Mayor Olivarez’ second month in office.
“This is God’s gift to us, and we must keep it in good shape so that our people will fully benefit from the only public hospital in the city,” the mayor said during the opening.
“What we inaugurate today is only a building; what is more important is the kind of service that we promise to provide through the dedicated men and women of the Ospital ng Parañaque led by our medical director, Dr. Ephraim Neal Orteza,” Mayor Olivarez said.
For his part, Secretary Ona praised the city officials for building the hospital which he likened to a private hospital when he saw the quality of the construction and its facilities.
The secretary also promised to provide at least Php20 million from the health department’s budget next year to further augment the new hospital’s facilities and equipment, plus another Php33 million for the city’s various health centers.
“Just one look and you can see that this is a very nice hospital,” Ona said. “Hopefully, the Ospital ng Parañaque will also be able to provide high quality service to the people of Parañaque and nearby areas similar to the services we see in private hospitals”.
Also in attendance were the city’s two congressmen, 1st District Rep. Eric L. Olivarez and 2nd District Rep. Gustavo Tambunting who both said they will see to it that the budget promised by Secretary Ona next year will materialize through their work in Congress.
The new hospital is an addition to the existing 39-bed hospital which used to be called the Parañaque Community Hospital. It stands along Quirino Avenue, right across the Saint Andrew’s Cathedral in Barangay La Huerta.
The old hospital severely lacked medicines, supplies, and equipment. As the only public hospital in the city, it was always congested.
Last March 21, 2014, the City Council passed led by Vice Mayor Rico Golez passed City Ordinance No. 14-10 (064) Series of 2014 changing the name of the hospital to “Ospital ng Parañaque.”
Mayor Olivarez vowed to address the facility’s perennial lack of medicines, supplies and modern equipment through regular appropriations. He also promised to add more trained personnel to ensure the delivery of efficient service to the public.
“We are on a fast-track mode with our public health program because our people, particularly the poor, desperately needs a decent, affordable, and essentially free modern public hospital,” Mayor Olivarez said.
Also part of the mayor’s health program is to issue medical health cards to city residents for a free or subsidized access to the city-run public health system, and to enroll more residents to the national health insurance program or Philhealth to make the operation of the new hospital more financially viable.
Aside from the hospital upgrade, the mayor said the city is working to strengthen the health centers in the city’s 16 barangays to enable them to provide primary health care, including the provision of lying-in maternity wards.