A public hospital in Dinalupihan town, Bataan province became the second recipient of a German grant aimed at protecting it from flooding.
The Jose C. Payumo Memorial District Hospital (JCPMDH) is the second hospital in the country, after the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila, to be chosen to undergo flood-proofing through a grant provided by the German government and a Filipino-German flood protection company.
During the project launch and press conference held here Friday, German engineer Andreas Klippe, president and chief executive officer of Flood Control Asia RS Corp., said more than PHP10 million would be spent to make the hospital flood-free.
Klippe said the German government would cover 80 percent of the project cost while their company would shoulder the remaining 20 percent.
He said the selection of the two hospitals involved intensive studies on their flooding conditions where the delivery of basic health services is severely hampered as a result of the floods.
“(The) PGH and JCPMDH, a 70-bed hospital, both passed the strict selection criteria set forth by RS engineers,” Klippe said. “Hospitals in the Philippines need flood protection because floods equate to existing problems, like the damage of equipment and the hardship to move the equipment from the ground floor to the upper floors. There is a higher risk of infection during the flood.”
In a presentation, he showed the benefits of flood-proof hospitals – the safety of staff and patients, as well as hospital equipment, keeping water germs out, and the continuous delivery of basic health services.
“Coronavirus is another pleasant reason, an important reason to come and reason for the German government to create and establish a worldwide program to provide funding for relevant projects in the fight against Covid-19 to minimize risks of spreading the virus,” German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel said.
Reiffenstuel expressed hope that the hospitals’ flood-protection would last beyond the pandemic.
“We will overcome around sooner than later this Covid-19 with the vaccine now being under the horizon,” she said. “We will both overcome the Covid-19 pandemic with our partnership and the flood protection partnership will remain and this is just the starting point and I am proud to be part of it and helpful in accessing and establishing this project and I wish this partnership every success.”
Dinalupihan Mayor Maria Angela Garcia and her brother, Governor Albert Garcia, thanked the donors, saying they were ecstatic about the project.
They said the German flood-proofing grant would make the JCPMDH doubly efficient and responsive to the health care needs of their constituents, as it would soon be free from perennial flooding.
“Dinalupihan is both landslide and flood-prone. The agricultural side of Dinalupihan is a low, moderate and has high susceptibility (to) flooding and the upper side is also (a) landslide-prone area,” the mayor said.
She said the hospital not only caters to residents but patients in the neighboring municipalities of Hermosa and Orani in Bataan and the nearby provinces of Zambales and Pampanga.
The governor said he appreciated and was excited to hear about the flood-control project in Dinalupihan that gets flooded every monsoon season.
“A big part of Dinalupihan are low-lying areas. It is located at the foot of the mountain. That is why when there are heavy rains, water from the mountains and when there is high tide, water from the ocean converge in Dinalupihan. So we experience a lot of floods,” he said.
“You can just imagine how difficult it is for our doctors and nurses, most especially our patients who are seeking medical assistance in our district hospital, when it is flooded. This is a welcome development for the municipality of Dinalupihan and the Dinalupihan District Hospital.”
Klippe said a detailed engineering assessment had been completed for PGH and the preparation of the required flood barriers is underway and would be installed soon.
Flood Control Asia RS Corp. is a Filipino-German flood protection company in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. (PNA)