The Philippine Children’s Medical Center is the only tertiary hospital in the country that provides children with quality and affordable care and treatment. Last year it treated more than 70,000 children from all parts of the Philippines, including those who are cancer-stricken and who would otherwise be unable to afford the necessary care and treatment. It is also a Level 4 training hospital that produces the best pediatric specialists in the Philippines.
You would assume that government would prioritize health care. You would expect it to channel adequate public funds to such a hospital. And yet, to our dismay, we learned that the National Housing Authority (NHA) is dunning the PCMC. It has given the hospital an ultimatum—pay P1.1 billion for the land that it now occupies, OR FACE EVICTION. NHA in fact has already suggested that PCMC move to a 2,500 sq. m. lot, a far cry from its 3.7 hectare present location.
Since 1980, the PCMC has been pleading with the National Government to draw up a deed of donation in favor of the hospital. This appeal has failed to move five administrations (and it seems the sixth). PCMC as well as other government hospitals have been, and are still being denied their legitimate, badly needed share of the public coffers. People are outraged that, instead of hospitals and health care in general, public funds are “privatized” into pork for greedy and unscrupulous politicians and their accomplices.
In the face of strong outrage from the public, including a petition signed by more than 3,000 netizens in a matter of days, Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced that the PCMC is safe from eviction and that a solution is on its way. The very next day, PCMC Executive Director Dr. Julius Lecciones said that nothing has really changed and that the hospital still faces the threat of eviction and relocation. It is a bitter blow. Malacanang tried to defuse the public’s anger over the issue through this maneuver. But we will not stop until concrete steps are taken ensuring that PCMC keeps the land it rightly occupies now.
We continue to demand the following:
SIGN A DEED OF DONATION IN FAVOR OF PCMC!
CHANNEL PORK TO PCMC AND OTHER SOCIAL SERVICES!
STOP PRIVATIZATION OF GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS!
PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT!
PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PUBLIC GOOD!
We further express our strong opposition to the continuing privatization of health services and facilities that puts quality health care beyond the reach of the ordinary Filipino. Health care is after all a right, and government must act, with dispatch, to ensure that that right is realized now.
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK)
Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO)
Viol de Guzman
World March of Women (WMW) – Pilipinas
Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE)