Subic town breaks ground for P100-M public hospital

Subic Mayor Jonathan Khonghun (center) lowers the time capsule for the Subic General Hospital during the project groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday in Subic, Zambales. Some of the officials behind him are Vice Gov. Jay Khonghun; Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.; Health Asst. Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana; and Fiesta Communities President Wilfredo Tan.

SUBIC, Zambales—Town and provincial government officials, along with officers of the Department of Health (DOH), on Wednesday broke ground for the P100-million Subic General Hospital project here envisioned to provide premier health care and medical services to local residents, as well as patients from surrounding communities in Zambales.

Led by Subic Mayor Jonathan Khonghun and brother Zambales Vice Governor Jay Khonghun, the ceremony marked the start of construction for the 100-bed health facility that is expected to be finished in one year.

Mayor Khonghun described the project as a “timely endeavor in these times when there are mounting health concerns and when the local population keeps on growing.”

He said that the local government meant the project to be forward-looking. “We have a big vision for this, and we would like it to eventually become a Level 3 facility,” he added. A Level 3, or tertiary, hospital would provide intensive care and have high-level specialty intervention facilities.

Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., who was one of the VIP guests in the ceremony, welcomed the project and pointed out that it will also ease hospital capacity in nearby Olongapo City and San Marcelino town where a government district hospital is located.

“This is a right initiative and we support it,” Ebdane said.

The hospital project is located in a half-hectare lot donated by Fiesta Communities Inc., a property developer, which has built residential units nearby.

Meanwhile, the P100-million fund needed for hospital construction would be shared by the Subic municipal government, Zambales provincial government, and the DOH, said Vice Governor Khonghun.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana and DOH regional director Corazon Flores attended the groundbreaking rites and both promised support for the hospital project.

Vice Governor Khonghun added that the Subic hospital has long been a dream for the town’s top political family.

“Building a hospital is the easy part; what’s quite difficult is the maintenance. So, we thought about this project long and hard before finally deciding to pursue it,” he said.

He said the hospital would have public wards, as well as private rooms. “But it will cater to everybody, and there will be no discrimination on whether a patient is a resident of Subic or not,” he added.

By his estimate, the hospital construction will be finished in a year, while the facilities, equipment and other appurtenances will be completed in two years.

Image credits: Henry Empeño

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