Will the forthcoming city hospital be the solution?

By Herbert Vego

TIME could be running out for patients who could not afford or could no longer afford hospitalization.  This I deplored in a past column, citing the case of Argie Caro, 39, who could not yet be hospitalized at the West Visayas State University Medical Center (WVSUMC) due to “fully-booked” free ward. He remains on the “waiting list” for biopsy of suspected tumors growing in his head and lungs.

He had sought the help of Congresswoman Julienne “Jam-Jam” Baronda. But the hospital could only ask for the patient’s further patience after he had tested “covid-asymptomatic”.

I see no logic in the “asymptomatic” being refused confinement while suffering from a debilitating cellular disease which requires urgent biopsy.

Anyway, thank God that his week-long home quarantine is over.  Baka naman puede na ma-admit, Don Benito?

If only he still had the money, Argie would not be waitlisted; he could have gone to a private hospital for urgent attention. Today, he relies on “a little help” from friends for his medicines. Thanks to our friend, New York-based colleague Alex Vidal, for initiating a “contagious” fund drive.

Until he was CT-scanned (partly subsidized by the Malasakit Center), Argie had been living comfortably as a computer programmer and was even sending money monthly to his widowed mother at Surallah, South Cotabato. But his medicines and an expensive (P50,000) but unsuccessful bronchoscopy by a private doctor had drained his meager savings.

Many others are as long-suffering as Argie, but hoping to live long enough to see the rise of a city hospital with sufficient rooms and beds to accommodate the needy patients.

In fact, when in a previous column I lauded Cong. Jam-Jam Baronda after the Senate had unanimously passed her bill (HB 10464) seeking to establish the Iloilo City Hospital, our readers sent us messages inquiring about it.

It remains to be signed by the President.  But whether he signs it or not, it will automatically turn into a law 15 days after its publication in a newspaper.

Congrats, Inday Jam-Jam.  Many previous congressmen had promised to come up with the same law but failed.

I understand from the office of Mayor Jerry Treñas that the city government will finance the construction of the 200-bed hospital as soon as possible at a city lot in barangay San Pedro through a P500-million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines. Additional funds will be provided by the national government.

May it end the perennial problem of the diseased, poor city dwellers.


CONGRATULATIONS to our very own Lord Leomer Pomperada, president of the New York-based World Youth Association (WYA).  He was chosen by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) as one of the 56 recipients of the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) on Tuesday evening (July 29, 2022) at the Grand Ballroom of Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.

CFO Secretary and Chairperson Justice Francisco P. Acosta (Ret.), representing the President of the Philippines, will confer this highest honor given by the Philippine government to Filipinos and organizations based overseas. It may be viewed live via mainstream at 5 p.m. of that day through the Presidential Awards Facebook page.

The PAFIOO is a biennial search for overseas-based individuals and organizations who have “dedicated their work in the service of Filipinos in the Philippines or abroad, selflessly supported relief, rehabilitation, and development programs in the home country, or excelled in their field of work or profession.”

Pomperada – 30, from San Jose, Antique — will receive the Pamana ng Pilipino Award for “exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino” and bringing honor and recognition to the country “through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of work or profession.”

He is serving his seventh year as the president of WYA, a global youth movement with over a million members in more than 200 nations and territories. It aims to promote the dignity of the person and build solidarity among the youth from developed and developing countries.

Prior to his presidency, he was the Regional Director of WYA Asia Pacific (WYAAP), wherein he geared towards strengthening a network of young global changemakers who inspire the future generation of leaders.

The son of Engr. Leopoldo Pomperada and the former Merlyn Bayombong, Nonoy Leomer graduated Cum Laude (Bachelor’s degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs) at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).

He recently published the book You’re Never too Young to Lead, a collection of personal anecdotes on the makings of a global youth leader.

He spends most of his working time touring WYA member countries.  At present, he is in Reykjavik, Iceland.


IF it were only possible to keep the power lines in Iloilo City working without interruption, why not?  It’s good for business.  But it cannot be avoided because MORE Power has to temporarily shut off power in places where rehab work is necessary in accordance with its 5-year modernization program as conceptualized by its president, Roel Z. Castro.

The facilities taken over from the previous distribution utility are in dire need of either replacement or upkeep to stay functional and to prevent fatal fires or other accidents. The indicators such as broken or leaning poles, aging crossbars, loose “spaghetti” wires and obsolete transformers are too obvious to escape the naked eye.

Last Sunday, power interruptions in portions of the city proper were necessary to isolate feeder 3 and enable linemen to cure its defects.

MORE often than not, power interruptions result from emergency calls reported by customers who are always welcome to report danger signs to MORE Power‘s 24/7 hotline number, 330 6673.

A live wire could kill, folks.