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PIA Press Release

Catigbian adds new landmark in health and lying-in center

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (22 February) -- Catigbian adds another landmark of excellence and innovation, again from World Bank (WB) funds as Mayor Roberto Salinas and his performance team opened a P14M health facility Friday, February 20, 2009 or three months after the getting the go signal.

The new Catigbian Municipal Health Center and Lying-In Clinic came after the town also accessed WB funds in its Livestock and Auction Center, notably the biggest in the Visayas.

It was not easy in the first place," admitted Salinas while commenting on the effort to access the funds for the newly opened health facility.

He shared he has to literally carry the health crusade of his people in Manila to convince the funding agency to help his town.

The town initially spent about P800T for project proposal initially pegged at P10.2M, he explained.

When the papers reached the WB doorstep however, it was at a time when WB was terminating the country-wide program, leaving behind hopelessness in a lot of aspiring local governments.

Salinas however strongly appealed to get WB reopen the gates, and by so doing, saved many of the country's projects getting the needed extension, shared Tifilito Rulida, as he read the project completion report before the jam-packed crowd assembled at the facility vicinity.

The Salinas effort has allowed for the extension of the WB fund channeled through the Department of Finance's Local Government Finance Development (LOGOFIND) from July to December of 2008, buying them the needed time.

The resubmitted proposal in fact needs to be revised since the cost of materials has considerably increased since the time the proposal was crafted, Rulida added.

Despite all the odds, "it did not dampen the local leaders' spirits and we have to pursue the project which could significantly elevate the health conditions of our people", the retired navy captain shared in an interview after the event.

The WB finally assented to their pleas by bankrolling the cost at 50% grant, 35% loan and 15% town equity.

On completing the project in record time, WB portfolio and operations director Maryse Gauntier has to admit "it quite surprised them that Catigbian took only a very short time to implement the project."

In her message, the funding agency representative said most projects take about 8-10 months.

The new health facility designed as a 5-bed puericulture and family planning center packs a chemical lab with equipment and supplies, dental clinic, minor surgical clinic and equipment all in a 628.68 square meter building with perimeter fences, concrete pavement in landscaped ground. (PIA) [top]

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