MANILA - Pasig's mega dialysis center will not be operational until the second half of 2022, Mayor Vico Sotto said Friday, about 7 months after he first announced that one of the Philippines' largest dialysis centers would be opened by the end of 2021.
The local government needs to abide by several policies such as the publication of several documents in newspapers since it would be established under a public-private partnership scheme, Sotto told ABS-CBN News.
"We want to do things legally," he said.
"We want to do things correctly so lahat nakakasa na 'yan pati 'yung construction nung building (everything is in place including the building's construction)," he said.
In an interview in July 2021, Sotto said that the "building is finished" and the local government is "just fixing the sewage treatment plant and the drainage."
“By December, mabuksan na kahit na initial machines lang muna,” he said hours before delivering his 2021 State of the City Address.
(By December, we can open it with initial machines.)
Sotto said they "expected that everything with the building and the agreement is okay" but later on found that more technicalities had to be met.
"In principle, the agreement is already good," he said.
"In reality, ready na naman 'yung private partner pero when we studied the legalities, kailangan pa pala may publication sa dyaryo, kailangan aantayin mong may magka-counter offer," he said.
(In reality, the private partner is already ready but when we studied the legalities, there needs to be a newspaper publication and we have to wait for a counter offer.)
Sotto's push to integrate patients’ records in some 40 health centers in the city was also delayed.
"Ang pinaka-bottleneck namin diyan ay yung mga internet connections
although it is already being pilot tested," he said.
(Our main bottleneck is internet connection issues although it is already being pilot tested.)
"It's being used but there are certain things that need adjustments. 'Yung mga iba naman as simple things as hindi namin makabitan ng internet yung isang health center," he said, noting that some impoverished areas in the city have yet to have access to the internet.
(It's being used but there are certain things that need adjustments, while others involve simple things as the lack of internet connectivity in a health center.)
Last year, Metro Manila’s 4th richest city allocated 21 percent of its P12-billion budget for health projects.
In succeeding years, Pasig will allocate at least a quarter of its annual budget to health care, the Mayor said.
"For succeeding years, we can expect to peg the budget for health care at a minimum of 25 percent and at a maximum of 30-33 percent," he said.
Aside from health care, Sotto - who is vying for re-election - said that "more focus will be [given to] boosting the local economy" should he win another term.
"Being business friendly is one of the things that I will personally take a look at and focus on in the next 1-2 years given the chance," he said, noting that in 2020 alone, about 5 percent of registered businesses in Pasig filed for retirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Ang focus natin (Our focus) is helping the local economy, helping businesses thrive which will necessarily provide more jobs for more Pasigueños," he said.