LINGAYEN --- The health care programs of the Provincial Government remain dynamic and unprecedented by a turn around overhaul initiated by Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. and has made Pangasinan as the only province in the country with a Provincial Health Office and Provincial Hospital in San Carlos to have been accorded with an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 for quality management certification in 2014.
“Ang ating Pangasinan Provincial Hospital ang kaisa-isa at kauna-unahang hospital sa buong bansa ang nabigyan ng ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certification at tayo ay muling pumasa sa Stage 2 ng ISO certification nito lang Enero 2015 na kung saan ang ating ginagawa ay tugma sa internationally accepted quality standards,” Gov. Espino stated in his State of the Province Address held last Monday, February 16 at the Capitol grounds.
“Our efforts are now reaping positive results,” Espino said as he cited a decrease in the province’s malnutrition rate from its highest recorded rate of 7% in 2007 to 3.32 percent in 2014.
Likewise, the governor also reported a decreased mortality rate in dengue having only 0.4 percent last 2014 compared with 1.62 percent in 2007 while Pangasinan maintained its zero- malaria mortality rate from 2011 to 2014.
“Kung mananatili pa ito sa kasalukuyang taon, papasa na tayo sa World Health Organization (WHO) bilang Malaria Disease free zone sa 2016,” he added.
With more pregnant women being attended to by skilled birth attendants in hospitals, RHUs and accredited birthing facilities, the maternal mortality rate have declined to 42.30 per 100,000 live births in 2014 from 104 per 100,000 livebirths in 2007.
As for the infant mortality rate, data shows a sharp decline in infant deaths from 8.46 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to only 6.18 per 1,000 live births in 2014.
“Ito ay dahil sa tumaas na bilang ng kababaihan na nanganganak sa hospital na umabot na sa 89.10 porsyento noong nakaraang taon kumpara noong 2006 na may naitala lamang na 18 porsyento,” Espino added.
The health care program remains as one of the top priority programs of the provincial government, Espino stated in his report as he revealed the yearly increased of its budget allocation from P307.9 million in 2008 to P670 million in 2014.
And with the improved health care programs of the province, the Department of Health (DOH) as well as the European Commission (EC) continued their support to Pangasinan by providing P679.34 million and P117.5 million respectively from 2008 to 2014.
These funds have been utilized for the upgrading, improvement and expansion of hospital buildings and the provision of hospital facilities and modern medical equipment.
Espino also took pride in the upgrading of diagnostic capability of all 14 government-owned hospitals which are now equipped with automated laboratory diagnostic equipment, digital x-ray, hemodialysis machines, with Pangasinan Provincial Hospital being provided with CT scan and gas sterilizer apart from other modern equipment.
“Kung pagsasamahin ang lahat ng ating 14 hospitals, tumaas ang kabuuang bilang ng mga hospital beds ng 245%, mula 580 beds lang noong 2006 at umabot na sa 1,423 hospital beds noong 2014, “ Espino said in his report.
The number of out-patients have also increased to 345,803 in 2014 from only 215,859 in year 2006, he added. “Malinaw po na malaki na ang pagtitiwala ng mga mamamayan sa kakayahan ng ating mga hospital upang mapangalagaan ang kanilang kalusugan at bigyang lunas and kanilang karamdaman.”
The governor also cited the implementation of Point of Care (POC) of the PhilHealth Insurance wherein the province has budgeted P30.23 million last 2014 which benefitted 12,593 POC enrollees.
Under the program, the province shoulders the amount of P2,400 as insurance premium of every qualified indigent family upon their hospital confinement for them to enjoy free medical services and medicines for one year.
“Bumabalik din naman ang ating gastos sa gamot, serbisyo at Philhealth insurance premium dahil sa patuloy na lumalaking Philhealth reimbursements natin taon-taon mula sa P31.86 million noong 2008 na ngayon ay umabot na sa P401.4 million noong 2014 para sa ating mga hospital,” Gov. Espino, however, said.
In tourism development, Espino also cited an increased tourist and visitors arrivals, both local and foreign, to the province of Pangasinan from only 141,938 last 2008 to 4.224 million in 2014.
The province also excelled in giving employment opportunities to more than 10,000 job seekers- both local and abroad- from 2008 to 2014 -- which made Pangasinan PESO an awardee for National Best Performing PESO in 2012 and 2013.
Also, numerous cooperatives and associations throughout the province have benefitted from the P41 million livelihood loan program of the provincial government from 2008 to 2014.
In his SOPA, Gov. Espino also revealed that Pangasinan was adjudged as National Most Outstanding LGU for 2013 and 2014 by the Bangko ng Sentral ng Pilipinas for effective management of Pangasinan Credit Surety Fund or PCSF.
As of 2014, the PCSF has already provided a total of P69.774 million as working capital and livelihood loans to its 16 member-cooperatives. “Ito ay isang epektibong pamamaraan sa pagpapalaganap ng mga sariling negosyo at kabuhayan ng ating mamamayan,” Espino said.
In terms of infrastructure development, the province already spent close to P4 billion from 2007 to December 31, 2014 for the repair, maintenance, and upgrading of roads, buildings, hospitals and other support structures.
Being one of the country’s top three rice producing provinces, Pangasinan continues to gain foothold in its palay production of 1.292 metric tons as of last year compared with only 811,037 metric tons in 2007, Gov. Espino said.
Gov. Espino said the province has an average yield of 5.09 metric tons per hectare that surpassed the national and regional average yield of 3.90 and 4.45 metric tons per hectare respectively.
As such, for two consecutive years (2013 and 2014), the province of Pangasinan had been cited as National Rice Achiever awardee.
Also, the province received an award as National Quality Corn Achiever in 2013 and 2014 because of its increased corn production.
With an average yield of 6.60 metric tons per hectare in 2014. Pangasinan outstripped the regional average yield of 5.59 metric tons per hectare and the national yield at 5.04 mt/hectare.
Also, Espino pointed out that other various development programs of the province such as peace and order, sports, human infrastructure, housing, among others have always been among the top priorities of his administration as he vowed to continue giving his best effort as his term ends in 2016.
“Sa loob ng nalalabi pang labing-anim at kalahating buwan ng aking panunungkulan bilang Gobernador, makakaasa po kayo na higit nating pag-iibayuhin ang ating paninilbihan sa inyong lahat,” he said.
The traditional courtesy call followed after Gov. Espino rendered his 30-minute SOPA. He was joined by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, Jr., his immediate family including Mrs. Priscilla I, Espino, Liga ng mga Barangay Provincial President Amado ‘Pogi” Espino, III and other members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. (Merly Ramos)