MANILA - The operations of the University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in Manila will not be privatized, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Friday.
Balisacan issued the statement after the NEDA Board, headed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., approved the construction of a PHP6 billion cancer center, which will be located within the UP-PGH campus in Manila.
"To set the record straight, there will be no privatization of PGH services. The government shall own the entire facility and PGH shall continue to operate as a public hospital," he said in a press conference with Palace reporters.
The UP-PGH cancer center project is the first public-private partnership (PPP) project approved by the NEDA Board when Marcos held a meeting with its members at Malacanan Palace in Manila on Thursday.
Balisacan explained that the potential private partner will build, design, engineer, and construct the proposed care center.
"The private partner will build the facility. They will design, they will engineer and construct the facility, then transfer it to the UP-PGH," he said.
The project will be implemented under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme, which grants a concession to a private partner to finance, build, and operate a project over a fixed term.
Balisacan said the project, once completed, would be "one of the largest cancer centers in Asia in terms of bed capacity."
"Now that the project has been approved, it goes now to the next process - offering it to the public now for the bidding process. It has to be bidded. Potential private partners need to present their proposals and then, the selection of the private partner will come out," he said.
"And then implementation na (will follow). We expect that to happen in the next five or so years kasi matagal din ang completion ng building (because the completion of this building takes time), especially this type of facility."
The proposed cancer center, with a lot area of 3,000 square meters, will have a capacity of 300 beds, including 150 charity beds for the UP-PGH area and 150 beds for the private area.
The project aims to establish UP-PGH's dedicated cancer hospital that will modernize its health infrastructure and offer comprehensive, high-quality, and affordable oncology services.
It also seeks to maintain all non-clinical services for the entire hospital building, operate relevant commercial activities, provide clinical services to private-paying patients in the private area, and assume all associated costs of clinical manpower, drugs, and consumables.
The facility is designed to have 15 to 20 floors, a parking space that could accommodate 350 vehicles, a 1,000-square-meter commercial space, and an area for three linear accelerator (LINAC) bunkers. (PNA)