Cotabato regl hospital employees strongly oppose corporatization

Sep. 04, 2012

Davao Today

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines – Officers and rank-and-file employees of the Cotabato Regional Medical Center or CRMC in Cotabato City expressed strong opposition to the proposed corporatization of government hospitals.

In a position paper dated August 23 that was sent to the media, CRMC employees said that House Bill 6069 and Senate Bill 3130 “would mean that the government (will) discharge its responsibility of providing health to all and deprive the people of its constitutional right to health care.”

House Bill 6069 which is authored by Congressman Anthony Rolando Golez, Jr. proposes to convert government hospitals into national government hospital corporations while Senate Bill 3130, penned by Senator Franklin Drilon, intends to institute a corporate restructuring program for national government hospitals.

The employees added that corporatization of CRMC is a step toward privatization that would mean a transfer of ownership and control to a private operator with the primary objective of gaining profit.

It also criticized the Aquino government’s policy of Public Private Partnership or PPP and branded the same as “the main engine for growth and development that denies the poor of their rights to health and financial freedom.”

CRMC President Dr. Louella Jeanne Lao, in an interview with, expressed deep concerns on the effects of corporatization on their clients and employees.

“By 2014 the government will only allocate funds for the salaries of the employees. Then, by 2020, CRMC and other government hospitals will operate on their income. No more budget from the government,” Dr. Lao said.

Lao added that CRMC is the only tertiary hospital that serves the constituents of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Region XII, including the province of Cotabato.

“50.64 percent of the patients who come here are considered those who have less in life,” she added, and that corporatization of CRMC will definitely deny them of health services.

Corporatization, she said, is also a threat to the status of employment and security of tenure of CRMC employees.

“Right now the government has even failed to comply with some provisions of the Magna Carta for Health Workers especially on our hazard pays. What will happen to us when government hospitals like CRMC will be under the control of private business?” Dr. Lao asked.

CRMC employees are now conducting massive campaigns, in coordination with employees of other government hospitals to ventilate their demands to the national leadership.

Dr. Lao said that they are urging the local government units in ARMM and Region XII to openly push campaigns against the passage of the corporatization bills now pending in Congress.

She also expressed gratitude to Representative Luz Ilagan of GABRIELA Women’s Party-list for her continued support to bring the clamors of the workers of government hospitals to Congress. (Alex D. Lopez,

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