P-Noy’s 3rd SONA drew praises from Sorsoganons
By Benilda A. Recebido
SORSOGON CITY, July 31 (PIA) -- President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address or SONA on Monday, June 23 has drawn praises and positive feedback from majority of the Sorsoganons as monitored from different local media outlets and as stated by some bystanders here.
In an informal interview with some tricycle drivers, sidewalk vendors, college students, including private and government workers, they did not hide their conviction over the achievements the President has presented saying, the citizens of Sorsogon, who belong to the marginalized sector, now really feel that the government is taking good care of them citing that the ‘Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino’ Program (Conditional Cash Transfer Program), the PhilHealth benefits, including scholarships and other educational benefits presently enjoyed by the beneficiaries.
And again, the use of the national language made his SONA appreciated by common Sorsoganons.
“The SONA presentation was made simple yet comprehensible,” said Connie Llanete, a carinderia owner. The same feedback was also supported by a group of six tricycle drivers who also watched the SONA in the same place.
A group of students from St. Louise de Marillac College of Sorsogon also presented their views saying that the government’s efforts now to improve the quality of education is inspiring and that the scholarships as well as subsidies to private institutions offered are among the best catalysts towards an empowered and self-reliant Filipino citizenry in the future.
The fight against corruption swayed many Sorsoganons and likewise, appreciated the President’s value for convergence and “bayanihan” system as a tool towards achieving good governance.
Six out of eight local media during casual discussions said that they are convinced of the President’s sincerity towards achieving “Tuwid na daan” (straight path and transparent governance) while the two others still want the President to run after other corrupt government officials.
“Crediting the Filipinos for the administration’s achievements for the past one year is in no doubt an indication that the President is sincere in saying “Kayo ang Boss ko” (“You are my boss.”),” some others also said.
However, there are still those who found the SONA lacking in merit.
According to one media commentator here, though the President elaborated credit rating upgrades, high stock market record, higher growth of domestic product than projected, still the President failed to state the current situation of the country.
“I may, perhaps, have a different perspective of what SONA is, but given all the achievements and future plans of the President, he should have also presented the current status of the country, whether it has been elevated from a particular rank to another rank, specifically in terms of poverty and economic indices,” he said.
Also, according to a few, modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is a lofty dream. But, they are still open to the possibility of attaining this dream saying nothing is wrong in dreaming, trusting the President’s words, “those impossible may be made possible.”
And forthe non-government worker who looked at modernization effort positively, the procurement of equipment of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and modernization of the AFP show how the President value the life of our uniformed men coming up with an effective strategy to make sure these men can still go back to their family intact and alive after every response to the call of duty.
Senator Francis Escudero said millions of Filipinos have been benefited by the “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino” Program, however there are still a lot to consider to make it sustainable and effective. Barangay officials must be consulted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the selection of beneficiaries because they know their constituents better than others do, he said.
Meanwhile, surprising to most citizens here, militant groups who were expected to air out sentiments through demonstrations during the SONA were quiet and were not seen dispersed or doing any activity at the city’s identified protester’s area and even along main thoroughfares.
Some media reports, however, disclosed that a number of members of the militant groups here went to some parts in Bicol region and in Manila to join bigger activities there, while about one or two persons quietly displayed some placards and streamers at the shoulder of Alice Bridge in Magsaysay St., Sorsogon City. (MAL/BAR-PIA5 Sorsogon)
RDC pushes for upgrading of BRTTH to university hospital
By Marlon A. Loterte
LEGAZPI CITY, July 31 (PIA) -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) approved a resolution endorsing the upgrade of the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) to a university hospital.
BRTTH is tertiary hospital run by the Department of Health. It serves as the primary regional health care facility for Bicolanos and venue for training of medical, nursing and paramedical practitioners.
The hospital is also a source of scientific researches on prevalent diseases in the region.
Established in 1918, BRTTH was formerly known as the Albay Provincial Hospital (APH) and is the first national government hospital in the region with a 50-bed capacity.
In 1970, the hospital bed capacity was increased to 75 and was designated three years later as a training and teaching hospital under Department Order No. 94.
The devolution provided under Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, however, placed APH under the Albay Provincial Health Office (PHO) in 1993 and suffered drastically reduced funding.
RA 8051 was enacted in 1994 and it converted the hospital to what it is now, coupled with an increased bed capacity of 250 and provisions for modernization.
By 1998, the hospital was able to perform its first open heart surgery for 19 patients in collaboration with the Philippine Heart Center and the Albay Heart Foundation.
In 2000, it conducted 18 more open heart surgeries to become the leading heart care facility in the region.
It was able to acquire a soft loan from the government of Netherlands in 2004 for its heart lung and kidney sub-specialty.
The bed capacity has also been upgraded to 300 and endorsed by the RDC in 2004 to become the Southern Luzon Medical Center under Resolution No. 05-13.
In a resolution passed during a meeting at the regional office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) here, the RDC chaired by Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, said the endorsement was based on the proposal submitted earlier by the DOH’s regional Center for Health and Development (CHD) for Bicol.
The CHD proposal was supportive of the opening of a College of Medicine at the Bicol University (BU) wherein BRTTH will be the teaching hospital for the medical, nursing and other paramedical courses offered.
The RDP also aims to provide access to health and family planning services and improve health, nutrition, and family planning outcomes.
The BRTTH upgrading as, Salceda said, carries with it the allocation of P1.151 billion by the national government for the establishment of a university hospital in cooperation with BU. (MAL/MSA-PIA5/ALbay)