P200M DOH building to rise

A P200 MILLION five-storey building is being built to become the new office of the regional Department of Health, nine months after a fire razed a large portion of the compound last September.

Health Sec. Paulyn Jean Ubial yesterday led the groundbreaking ceremony.

Regional director and Mindanao cluster head Abdullah Dumama, Jr. said the design of the building is inspired by the Philippine eagle, with the builders working on the project for 350 calendar days.

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HEALTH Sec. Paulyn Jean Ubial answers inquiries of reporters right after the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the P200 million five-storey Department of Health regional office in Davao.

The project site is 1,380 square meters, with construction to be implemented by contractor Abratique and Associates.

Dumama said the new structure will also house the other agencies attached to the DOH, such as the National Nutrition Council and the Food and Drug Administration.

Funding for the P200 million regional office project comes from the agency’s quick response fund. A total of P100 million has already been released for the first phase.

The ground level will comprise the main lobby and waiting area, business office, regulations, licensing, and enforcement division, and cafeteria.

The second level comprises a lobby and waiting area and the administrative support division.

The third level will house the local health support division, while the fourth level will house the offices of the regional director, the assistant regional director, as well as spaces for the provincial and city offices of the DOH and the agency’s function rooms.

The fifth level of the structure will be the DOH’s conference hall and meeting and function rooms, as well as a roofdeck garden.

Following the fire last September, employees of the agency have had to use alternative office spaces and cramped themselves in existing facilities inside the health compound along J.P. Laurel Ave.

Millions of pesos in facilities and years’ worth of paperwork were engulfed in a dawn fire last Sept. 23, 2016.

Initial reports said that the fire could have started because of an unattended appliance.

Ubial, meanwhile, said the DOH is eyeing a budget of P220 billion in terms of infrastructure for health facilities nationwide for the next 11 years.

She said that President Rodrigo Duterte, for his part, insisted on the plan being implemented in half the time, with the President saying the improvements in the health delivery system should be done by 2022.

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