Dagupan City gov’t should explain delay of the P5M Dormitory
Q & A: Northern Watch’s correspondent Mortz C. Ortigoza sat last Tuesday with Region-1 Medical Center’s Director Roland Mejia. Mejia had been accused in the media about the delay in the construction of the post treatment facilities (PTF) of the Drug Rehabilitation Center in Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City and he was asked to account for the whereabouts of the P5 million construction fund for it, his ostentatious display of wealth like fleet of high end cars and a swimming pool in his posh multi-story residence. Excerpts of the interview:
WHAT P5 MILLION? Media men interview recently Region-1 Medical Center’s Director Roland Mejia at his office. Mejia refuted accusation from some quarters that he had already liquidated the P5 million for the construction of the post treatment (PTF) facility from the Dangerous Drugs Board. He said the second tranche of P5 million from DDB was coursed to the office of Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez. He said the City and not his office should be the one to explain why there was delay on the construction of the PTF. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA: You are being accused in some media fora for the delay on the construction of a building in the Drug Rehabilitation Center. Your critics said you have to account on the whereabouts of the P5 million fund as the second tranche from the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
DR. ROLAND MEJIA: (Chuckle). Hindi naman. Dahil iyong P5 million na iyan actually matagal na iyan sa City na binigay ng Dangerous Drugs Board. Iyang sinasabi nilang P5 million na noon pa iyan. Na-liquidate na namin, nagbigay na kami ng ilang beses na liquidation reports.
Anong building iyong na delay?
Actually iyong P5 million na iyan ang unang MOA (memorandum of agreement) niyan is perimeter fence at saka iyong EDU (emotional diagnostic unit). Ngayon, ayaw nila. Ayaw raw ng COA (Commission on Audit). Ewan ko kung sinong ayaw. Kasi naman hindi kami pumili kung ano ang gusto at puwede. Kaya iyong tinatangong nila is post treatment facilities.
Wala na iyong EDU?
Nagawa na namin iyon through the funds of Region 1, tapos na! Pati fence lahat
na kung tutuusin dapat kunin iyan doon sa P5 million na iyan sana! Pero hind na puwede sabi nila according to the COA raw.
Magkano abono ninyo sa EDU?
Mahigit P3 million ang EDU, iyang fence P6 million plus. Marami na ho.
So the delay that they blamed on you was the post treatment facilities?
Kung delay man iyan it was because of the process of (Republic Act) 9184 (Government Procurement Law). Kasi pag magpapagawa sila ng project siyempre they have to make a complete building plans, siyempre sila nag iimplement saka nag process ng bidding. Nag pa ground breaking na sila.
So the P5 million was a non-issue?
So the P5 million was a non-issue?
Matagal na namin na liquidate iyang P5 million na sinasabi nila. Nagbigay na kami ng reports sa office ni Secretary Bebot Villar (of DDB), DOH-Central office kasi doon pinunduhan. Ito kasi kasi ngayon dumaan sa (Dagupan) City government na ang City na ang bahala. Ang delay ho niyan sila (Dagupan City) na ho ang mag explain kasi tayo tumatanggap lang tayo ng project.
Well, we don’t have personal differences with the mayor. Only the mayor misquoted me in the sense iyong mga indigents program natin dito is our duty to inform the mayor on the movement of funds. Kaya binigyan namin ng notice (the mayor) na ganito na po kalaki ang nagagamit ng pasyente. But not necessarily that we are going to bill the mayor. Kasi puweding ipasok iyan sa social fund ng hospital but ang nangyayari iyong tao ni mayor parang pinahamak siya. Because they make a letter to the DOH-Central Office, to COA, to PhilHealth. The one who wrote the letter was the good City Health Officer (Leonard Carbonel). Now answering those letters would expose the real situation kung ano talaga ang nangyari, parang ipapahamak pa nila si mayor. Biro mo sasabihin na we are not compliant with the No Balance Billing e samantala kami ang author ng No Balance Billing sa Department of Health.
Lumabas doon sinagot namin ang sulat ni mayor na they are allocating a certain fund from the indigent which is not a PhilHealth member then hinde siya papasok doon sa No Balance Billing.
They said your 90 days preventive suspension had been lifted because you have backers at Malacanang.
Sa panahon ni President P-Noy ngayon it is on record na kung hinde ka Matuwid na Daan, tatangalin ka. Iyong sinasabi nilang preventive suspension it is not lifted but it is reversed. Lifted is different to reversal. Iyong order is status quo ante. Ibig sabihin ng status quo ante nothing happened. Imagine bibigyan ako ng preventive suspension without any ground.
Sinong complainant ng preventive suspension ninyo, ano ang grounds nila?
Si (former Health Secretary Enrique) Ona ang gumawa. O ano na ngayon, saan na si Ona? (Ona resigned from the government last December because of corruption issue - MCO) Sabi kasi (hindi) kami sumagot doon sa internal audit noong nakaraang taon na 2013. Pero noong sumagot ako sa letter kay Secretary Ona nilakip ko iyong pinag resiban na document ng Department of Health na we answered the internal audit finding. But tinuloy nila ang preventive suspension. So ano ang nakita ng Malacanang? Abuse of discretion kaya status quo ante.
They said you owned a fleet of expensive cars where some you ostentatiously displayed at the parking lot of the hospital.
I bought the Hummer in 2007 before I became a director of the hospital. It was bought through financing siyempre it was a privilege kung may pera ka mag pa finance ka sa bank.
Binata pa ako I have Hondo Civic na nabenta na, second hand BMW 1995 model black sedan, meron akong ginagamit na Lancer ngayon iyon ang hinuhulugan ko, X-5 (Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) of BMW) sinanla sa akin. Iyong Montero is not my own personal car. It’s a car used by the foundation of my wife. See? We have a lot of cars pero iyong sa amin diyan hinde naman lahat. Iyong Tahoe (SUV from Chevrolet) I bought that as a new car in 2003 when I was a medical specialist.
If I owned that fleet, yes of course, well, and good. Thank you for that.
Huwag lang Pacific Fleet na aircraft carrier dahil mahal iyon?
May swimming pool sa bahay ninyo sa isang floor daw?
Swimming pool sa bahay “namin” hindi bahay “ko” because “ko” is mine. Pag “namin” is owned by the family of de Venecia-Mejia-Barcebal three different families.
The old house there has two lots. The first lot is owned by Pedro de Venecia (his father- in- law and uncle of former Speaker Joe de Venecia - MCO), the second lot is named after us kaming dalawa ng misis ko pero hindi amin iyong lupa. Ito lupa nagpatayo (bahay) ang Barcebal family na ang asawa niya anak ni Pedro. Ni integrate din sa lumang bahay kaya iisang malaki.