By Artemio A. Dumlao
BAGUIO CITY – The House committee on Public Works and Highways will pursue its scrutiny on the 200-million Abra Provincial Hospital, one among the government infrastructures built by controversial Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation (HCC) being investigated for alleged overpricing and possible corruption.
Supposedly completed in 2010, the 170-bed capacity hospital building which stands on a 5,498 square meter land in Calaba, Bangued, went only in operation three years after when the crib wall of the stonemasonry collapsed and structural defects reportedly became evident after a storm hit Abra in 2011.
The Department of Health through it’s universial health insurance system implementing agency PhilHealth, has also ordered the downgrade of APH status earlier this year from Level 2 to Level 1.
Under the new DOH reclassification order, Level-1 hospitals should have the following facilities — surgery room; isolation, surgical and maternity facilities; dental clinics; secondary clinical laboratory; blood station; first level X-ray; and a pharmacy.
Level-2 hospitals require additional departmentalized clinical services, a respiratory unit, high pregnancy risk unit, second level X-ray with mobile unit, while Level-3 hospitals should have DOH-accredited teaching and training on four major clinical services, ambulatory surgical and dialysis clinics, and a blood bank.
Kabataan partylist rep. Terry Ridon who sought the House to probe the infrastructures via a resolution which has angered Senate Pres. Franklin Drilon, wants government to determine the exact accountability amidst allegations of corruption and overpricing.
Among those contracted government buildings with HCC are buildings in Makati and the Iloilo Convention Center where Sen. Drilon’s name is being implicated.
The House, the partylist lawmaker said, will pursuing a full and comprehensive inquiry on these projects.
Ridon said among the documents the House will refer to in probing if there were overpricing and possible corruption in these government buildings contracted by local government units to HCC are COA findings.***Artemio A. Dumlao***