(Photo by Ryan Lim/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)

ROMBLON, Romblon, January 13 (PIA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III visited Romblon last Friday to conduct an aerial inspection of a road project and lead the ceremonial unveiling of the marker of two new buildings of the recently upgraded Romblon Provincial Hospital (RPH).

President Aquino was assisted by Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin, Romblon Representative Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona, and Romblon Governor Eduardo C. Firmalo during the unveiling that was held at the Public Theater in Romblon, Romblon.

The event was witnessed by Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, and Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso V. Umali Jr., who joined the President during his first visit to the province.

The Romblon Provincial Hospital was upgraded and modernized under the Department of Health-Health Facilities Enhancement Program (DOH-HFEP) program with an allotment of P138,243,162.27 in 2010 and 2011 for Phase 1 of the project. It included the repair of the emergency room and intensive care unit, and the construction of a two-storey building for patients’ wards, surgery and obstetrics, out-patient department, x-ray and additional offices for hospital staff. In 2012, it received an additional P118,499,301 and P140 million for Phase 2 of the project.

The RPH is the only Level 1 hospital in the province located in the municipality of Odiongan in Tablas Island. It provides various health services, such as surgical, medical, maternal and health care, dental and clinical laboratory services.

The hospital, which serves 17 municipalities, is manned by 87 personnel. It has a 75-bed capacity and serves an average of 65 patients daily. It is operated by the provincial government of Romblon.

The hospital’s Building 1, has already been fully operational since April last year. It is a four-level building, which houses the hospital’s administrative section, pediatrics department, internal medicine department, temporary laboratory, emergency rooms, wards and offices as well as storage rooms for the Botika ng Lalawigan, PhilHealth, Department of Health and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Meanwhile, RPH Building 2 is 95 percent complete and the building’s third floor is intended for X-ray, CT scan, labor and delivery rooms, operation rooms, and Neonatal Intensive Care rooms. It also has wards and private rooms.

This year, the RPH will start construction of Building 3, which will house the laboratories, emergency room, operating room, Intensive Care Unit, five bed wards and private rooms. The proposed funding for the project is P84 million.

Aside from the buildings, the RPH has also completed the construction of its Blood Collection Unit, Conference Hall and quarters for doctors.

The hospital’s infrastructure development projects form part of the Province-wide Investment Plan for Health (PIPH). With funding support provided by a European Commission (EC) Grant and the Department of Health.

The PIPH is a five-year plan that seeks to address the different health concerns of the province for calendar years 2005 to 2009. However, its implementation began only in 2007.

Through the DOH-HFEP, the RPH was allocated P526.92 million for the construction of two buildings and P7.04 million for medical equipment.

The objective of the HFEP program is to upgrade health facilities and provide training to health professionals, and improve access of people to quality health care services. It also aims to enhance the delivery of basic, essential, and specialized health services in the community. (Dennis Manzo/PIA-IVB/Romblon)