The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII-Social Development Committee (SDC) endorsed to the RDC VIII Full Council the proposed Eastern Visayas Medical Center (EVRMC) extension in Villaba during its 2nd Quarter 2017 Meeting held on 5 June 2017. The endorsement is embodied in RDC VIII-SDC Resolution No. 8, s. 2017. The SDC is chaired by DOST VIII RD Edgardo M. Esperancilla who presided over the meeting and Co-chaired by PSR Edmundo Gariando.

The proposed EVRMC extension will be a one-storey, level 2 hospital with an estimated project cost of PhP 600 million, to be located in Brgy. Cabungahan, Villaba, Leyte. The proponent, Honorable Congressman Vicente S.E. Veloso of the 3rd District of Leyte, donated the lot where said extension will be located.

A level 2 hospital can accommodate more patients and has a wider range of health services as compared to the three existing infirmary facilities.

Department of Health (DOH) VIII Regional Director Minerva P. Molon said, “The ratio of hospital bed to population set by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 1:1000. The current ratio of hospital bed to the population in the 3rd District of Leyte and the nearby municipalities is far from the standard at the ratio of 1:5294. Thus, the need for a new hospital in the area.”

She added that the extension of EVRMC in Villaba Leyte is economically and financially viable, and is expected to bring significant benefits for the populace in the area, including (a) saving more lives and increasing the average expected lifespan, (b) providing low-cost medical services, (c) ensuring equitable access to quality health care, (d) attracting businesses and private investment; (e) increasing the attractiveness of a locality for tourism and retirement, (f) contributing to poverty reduction, and (g) attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Currently, there are three local government unit-managed hospital in the 3rd District of Leyte that altogether have a total of only 85 existing hospital beds.

The proposed EVRMC extension will be included in the agenda of the RDC VIII Full Council, which will convene on 27 June 2017, for review and endorsement to the concerned agencies/institutions.

Meliza Y. Bacolbas, DRD, NEDA VIII