MALABON CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, January 29, led the groundbreaking ceremony for the new San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hospital that would expand medical services to the people of Malabon City and nearby areas.
“It is my pleasure to be with you today as we lay the groundwork for a project that will soon serve not only the people of Malabon but also patients coming from adjoining areas such as CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) and Bulacan,” President Duterte said in his speech during the groundbreaking rites.
“I reiterate this administration’s resolute commitment to enhance and strengthen the operational capabilities of government hospitals to cope with the healthcare and medical needs of the Filipinos, especially the poor and the marginalized, ” he added.
The construction of the new hospital in Malabon City will expand the 10-bed capacity of San Lorenzo Ruiz Women’s Hospital, the city’s existing hospital.
The new San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hospital will have a bed capacity of 200, which according to the President, is indeed a promising development.
Recognizing the valuable efforts of the people behind the initiative, the President said it would surely help thousands of Filipinos, particularly those who cannot afford expensive medical bills.
“Well, I will guarantee you na uunahin ko talaga ‘yang medisina sa lahat. Iyan ang pinakamahirap ‘yang makita ko … iyong tao na…dala lang sa reseta, hindi niya malaman kung saan niya kunin [ang pambayad]. But at least during my term,” he said, vowing to prioritize health services for poor people.
The PAGCOR, he said, has also committed to contributing money, which would be used for health care needs of poor Filipinos.
The President also expressed his confidence that doctors and allied medical professionals would be his administration’s steadfast partners in the mission to provide high-quality healthcare by remaining true to their Hippocratic Oath.
“I also enjoin all health workers to observe the Code of Conduct and Patient’s Rights to the best of your ability. May you continue to provide accurate, responsive, and compassionate medical care for our people,” he said.
At the same time, the President rallied the support of the country’s local leaders to join hands with the national government in ensuring timely delivery of health services to the poor.
“Together, let us make the Philippines a better nation — a country that empowers its citizens and a society that allows them to grow, prosper, and lead healthier and comfortable and productive lives,” he added.
Aside from the construction of a new Malabon City hospital, another government thrust under the Duterte administration is the release of multi-million monthly government subsidy to the Philippine General Hospital and major military hospitals.
Suicide bombers carried out Sulu attack, says President Duterte
Meanwhile, after the groundbreaking, President Duterte faced the media. When asked about the conflicting report on the twin blasts in Jolo on Sunday, the Chief Executive announced that the bloody attack was the handiwork of “suicide bombers” tied to Islamic extremists, citing information given to him by the military’s intelligence units.
“I was briefed. Kung hindi suicide bomber, ano? Ah ‘yung sabi niya by cellphone? Yes, that’s a possibility,” he said.
“But the eyewitnesses said it’s the other way around. May kasama siguro. May support system,” he added.
The suicide bombers were male and female. A woman entered the church and blew herself up, while a man was positioned outside the cathedral and did the same thing.
The perpetrators’ identities and nationalities are still under investigation amid speculations that they might be Indonesians.
“Wala kang makita eh. No part of the body … sumabog eh. Kasi terrorism talaga ‘yan at saka suicide ‘yan unless na inilagay doon,” the President explained.
Nevertheless, he said that they were warned not only by Indonesia but also by other countries about a possible attack. That’s why there was a heavy presence of military personnel in Jolo during the bombing.
Asked if he thinks that there were lapses in security, especially that Mindanao is under Martial Law, President Duterte said he didn’t think so. However, he admits that there might be a “misapprehension” or “misappreciation” from the security side, quoting the Murphy’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong.”
“But we are not washing our hands. Every time that there is death of a Filipino by violence, unless of course, eh lumaban sa pulis o military, that is a failure in governance to protect the people and the Filipino. And we admit that those lapses [are] our responsibility,” he noted.
The government will launch punitive action against the terrorists and other enemies of the state including the New People’s Army and drug dealers in the country.
After the interview with the media, the President then proceeded to SM Megamall to attend the premiere night of “BATO The Movie: The General Ronald Dela Rosa Story.” ###PND