Good news to Manila residents and those working in Manila, the nation’s capital.
A modern “Ospital ng Maynila” and College of Medicine of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila are now rising in the same site of the present city hospital besides two important landmarks, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Manila Zoo, in Malate district.
Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, popularly known as Isko Moreno, his actor’s name, led the groundbreaking ceremony for the modern hospital on June 24 as part of the 449th foundation day celebration of the city that day.
To be called “Bagong Ospital ng Maynila,” the P2.3-billion ten-storey hospital will have top of the line medical equipment, facilities and laboratories that would rival some private medical centers in the city.
In launching the project, Domagoso said he was pursuing a dream of Manilans for a modern hospital and a promise during the 2019 elections which he won by landslide against former President and then incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Jose Marcelo Ejercito in real life.
Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan and other officials joined Mayor Domagoso in the ceremony which immediately was lauded by Manila residents, officials and students of the city university.
“No matter how good our healthcare workers are, the delivery of service will be hard if we have limited infrastructure, that’s why I don’t mind investing billions for healthcare infrastructure,” said Domagoso at the groundbreaking ceremony at he Ospital ng Maynila Compound.
The P2.3 billion hospital modernization project is part of Domagoso’s 10-year infrastructure plan for the city which includes a new City Hall and a Hall of Justice for Manila.
Fresh from his election victory, Domagoso assured alumni and faculty members of the city university who called on him at City Hall that he would build the 10-storey hospital building. The callers included former Social Welfare Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco, a product of Manila public schools and Harvard University, who was appointed later as president of PLM.
Domagoso said during the groundbreaking ceremony that the “Bagong Ospital ng Maynila” will have an area of 29,951 square meters that will house 384 beds, 12 intensive care units and 20 private bedrooms.
The project will also be complemented by a three-storey parking building and a helipad, he said.
He told the PLM alumni and faculty members that once the new building is finished, the present Ospital ng Maynila buildings will be converted as the PLM College of Medicine.
The new College of Medicine facilities when completed are expected to boost further the college as one of the top medical schools in the country.
With buildings of its own, the PLM College of Medicine will be able to expand the university’s allied medical courses like nursing and physical therapy.
Sources said with its new facilities, PLM is exploring the possibility of offering dentistry, optometry, and optician courses.
The “Araw ng Maynila” celebration started with a floral offering at the Raha Sulayman monument besides the Malate Church. Sulayman was the Muslim leader of the settlement which is now Manila when the Spanish conquistadores led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived.
Mayor Domagoso and city officials also paid tribute to the Spanish conquistador through wreathlaying at his tomb inside the San Agustin Church in Inramuros.
Domagoso later met with frontliners in the fight against COVID-19. Domagoso told the frontliners City Hall will undertake a housing project for them soon.
He also inspected the newly restored dancing fountain at the Liwasang Bonifacio from which he had a good view of the City Hall watch tower which was lighted up as part of the “Araw ng Maynila” celebration.
The first major modernization of the Ospital ng Maynila by Mayor Domagoso came 51 years since the hospital opened its doors to city residents in 1969 under the administration of Mayor Antonio J. Villegas.
The putting up of Manila’s first hospital and first local hospital in the country (the city now has five other hospitals in different districts) was initiated by the Municipal Board (now City Council) of Manila in 1959 under then Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson. During his inaugural address for another term on January 11, 1960, Mayor Lacson called for the establishment of the hospital, and on October 11, 1960, issued an executive order creating a committee to undertake the plans for its establishment which he envisioned to cost P6 million.
President Diosdado P. Macapagal, a law classmate of Mayor Lacson at the University of Sto. Tomas College of Law, ensured the realization of dream of a city hospital by issuing on April 11, 1962 Presidential Proclamation No. 31 turning over to the city the national government property where it now stands.
Apart from signing Republic Act No. 4196 creating the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, President Macapagal also bequeathed to the Manila city government the three hectare campus of the PLM in Intramuros through a presidential proclamation.