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Cebu News

Winston vows free hospital, skills training

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Free hospitalization and vocational school in every municipality are the two flagship programs promised by lawyer Winston Garcia for the underprivileged if he gets elected as governor of Cebu in 2016.

Garcia said he would have all medical supply, including equipment, available in all province-run hospitals and provide hospital services for free so that patients in far-flung areas would no longer have to travel to Cebu City for hospitalization. There are 16 provincial and district hospitals in the province.

He slammed the current administration in the Capitol for not being able to provide the basic needs of the patients in the district and provincial hospitals.

Garcia cited an incident at the district hospital in Barili where a woman requested for an ambulance to transport her husband who was already in critical condition after being run over by a bus, but the hospital management reportedly asked for a payment of P1,500 for the fuel and allowance of the driver before they could use the vehicle.

“After they (family) raised the amount, they were able to use the ambulance. But when they reach Mantalongon, the husband died… What is very disheartening and angers me is that even the use of ambulance, pabayran pa? That patient should not have been brought to Cebu (City). He should have been taken care of right there and then,” he said.

 “All of us can prepare for education, food, clothing, but few of us save for hospitalization. That (free hospitalization) is one thing that I will provide for the Cebuanos,” he added.

As to the vocational schools, Garcia said night classes in secondary schools would be provided for a six-month skills training program.

“Provide them necessary skills in order for them to work. Provide this education for free to all,” he said.

Garcia presented these and his other plans for Cebu before the reporters, columnists, and editors of The FREEMAN and BANAT News yesterday.

Garcia said he would only concentrate on free hospital care and vocational courses, noting the limited fund that the province has in its coffers. He said the rest of the concerns should be addressed by the national government.

“How much is the budget of Cebu? We only have P3 billion budget. We cannot attend to all more needs. It’s not that I will not attend to these things. But I will let the national government address this. I will use my political influence. That’s already the responsibility of the national government. We will demand that these will be given to my constituents… Department of Agriculture has big budget. I will go to the national government and tell them to do their job,” he said when asked of his program for the agriculture.

Apart from his flagship programs, infrastructure development would also be in the priority of Garcia.

These include second runway for the Mactan Cebu International Airport, 500-hectare reclamation project for Cordova tourism zone, transfer of the international container port to Liloan or Consolacion, reclamation of foreshore area from Talisay City to City of Carcar to pave way for a ‘new metropolis’ to provide room for industrial and commercial development, and the mass transit system.

According to Garcia, the proposed development projects would be realized through a public-private partnership scheme and at no cost to the government.

“In 2016 elections, choices should be made based on programs, not on personalities,” he added.

Garcia is the brother of third district Representative Gwendolyn, who was also three-term governor of Cebu.

 He was former president and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System.

 Garcia said his proposed development projects would be realized through a public-private partnership scheme and at no cost to the government. “In 2016 elections, choices should be made based on programs, not on personalities,” he added. — /FPL  (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

BUT I

CEBU

CEBU CITY

CITY OF CARCAR

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

GARCIA

GOVERNMENT

GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM

MACTAN CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

REPRESENTATIVE GWENDOLYN

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