DBM: MOA needed for CHO building before fund release

THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) has required the city government and the Department of Health to ink a memorandum of agreement first before it can release the P60-million funding for a new City Health Office building.

 DOH Assistant Secretary Abdullah Dumama, Jr. said in an interview that the item was originally sourced from funds meant for the construction of drug rehabilitation facilities around the country.

 But with funds pouring in from different sources such as the People’s Republic of China, as well as national government agencies such as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and private firms, the DOH recorded some savings.

 Dumama said there could be a delay in the release of the P60 million fund for the CHO.

 “We anticipate a delay in the release,” Dumama said.

 The funding comes from a P2.4 billion fund to implement infrastructure projects for other medical facilities, he said.

 The DOH’s own regional office here, which was razed by fire, is also waiting for funding from the national government, with a P200 million fund in the pipeline.

 To date, only P100 million has been released for the regional office.

 Other hospitals in Mindanao are receiving infrastructure funding from the source of funds.

 These include the heavily damaged Amai Pakpak Medical Hospital in Marawi City, which functioned even in the middle of a heavy battle between government troops and Maute rebels in the months-long siege of the city last year.

 Meanwhile, Dumama said the DOH has coordinated the funding for the CHO building.

 “We will look for ways,” Dumama said.

 Earlier this week, Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, health committee chair, said the local government has assured the quick passage of an ordinance authorizing Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to sign a deal with the DOH for the counterpart funding for the CHO building.

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