By Jann Reymund Tatad
VIRAC, Catanduanes – Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Catanduanes unanimously approved on Monday, May 11, a resolution, requesting that the Eastern Bicol Medical Center (EBMC) be converted from being an economic enterprise, and be reverted back to the national government through the Department of Health (DOH).
The resolution, authored by Provincial Board Member (PBM) Santos Zafe, stated that EBMC, as an economic enterprise, has been suffering heavy economic losses.
“As early as 1995, in the DOH Hospital Devolution study, it was reported that local government funds to finance operations of health services were inadequate, and evidently, EBMC’s staff admitted that the income of the hospital as an economic enterprise was insufficient to overcome the day to day operations,” the resolution added.
According to the resolution filed by Zafe, the Commission on Audit (COA) had found that, from 2010-2014, EBMC had been maintaining a negative balance of Government Equity of P84.6 million in net losses, with more than P110 million cash advances.
Zafe explained that the reversion of EBMC’s management, control, and supervision to the national government would be reasonable because it would provide essential services to almost 10,000 patients especially the sick, poor, and marginalized sector of the province.
Moreover, he said that since its conversion as an economic enterprise in 2010, EBMC has not improved in terms of income earning within 10 years.
In addition, he said that the subsidies of the provincial government given to the EBMC could have been used to other projects if it was under the management of DOH.