Social Development – The Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) convened on February 19 to address multi-faceted concerns that affect social development in the Cordillera region.

BAGUIO CITY – The Regional Social Development Committee recommended for RDC-endorsement the establishment of the Baguio General Hospital Dialysis Center through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) during its first quarter meeting on February 19. Dr. Frederick Untalan of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Steering Committee for the proposed hemodialysis center said that the public-private partnership will address the needs of the Cordillera people while providing the private service provider with an equitable profit share. The proposed establishment of the facility will be through the Rehabilitate-Supply-Operate and Maintain mode of PPP.

The project aims to rehabilitate the existing 3-storey dormitory building that will be converted into a hemodialysis center in BGH with staff sharing between the service provider and BGHMC. The project will span from 2021 onwards. The building rehabilitation by the private partner is estimated to take 1-2 years from 2021-2022, while the expected contract for the operation and maintenance will cover 15 years. In year 1 of operation, 60 Hemodialysis machines are expected to be provided, and 10 units will be added each year until year 5 when the center is expected to have 110 machines. The project is estimated to cost 130 million pesos for the building rehabilitation and initial 60 machines; while 92 million pesos will be needed for annual operation and maintenance costs, all of which will be provided by the private sector partner.

The proposal was prepared with the guidance of the PPP Center. The Philippine Government promotes PPPs to encourage development in infrastructure, public transportation, and health facilities, among others. PPPs are implemented by virtue of Executive Order No. 8 series of 2010, as amended by Executive Order No. 136 series of 2013. NEDA-CAR, the agency tasked with evaluating PPP proposals in the region, noted that this is the first proposal by a Public Hospital as mostly Local Government Units avail of this service.

The RSDC also endorsed the “Innovation in the Philippine Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) System” project of TESDA which aims to update the TVET system nationwide to produce graduates ready for emerging labor market trends and the Industry 4.0. Like the proposed Dialysis Center for BGHMC, the RSDC will recommend the project for the RDC-CAR endorsement to the Investment Coordination Committee through the NEDA central office. TESDA-CAR said that this will not interfere with, but instead complement the Cordillera State Institute of Technical Education (CSITE) which will be established by 2022. The project will be implemented in all regions of the country, with CAR to be allotted 15 percent of the Php 5.2 billion total project cost. This will be funded through a complementation arrangement between the GOP and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The RSDC is one of 6 sectoral committees of the Cordillera Regional Development Council. The committee focuses on social development concerns of the region with its subcommittees on health and nutrition, education and manpower development, social protection, and housing and shelter. Its banner program is the Social Convergence of Regional Agencies for Poor Cordillera municipalities where the RSDC, led by DSWD as committee chair. The convergence program through the Regional Advisory Council, involves regional line agencies in site visits to the poorest CAR municipalities for dialogue and identify and consolidate the beneficiaries’ priority programs and projects. The RAC conducted a visit to Malibcong, Abra on November 17 to 20, 2020, where beneficiaries said they gained a clearer understanding of the government’s plans and programs. The team will visit Pasil, Kalinga for its next social convergence activity this March.

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