A memorandum of agreement was signed yesterday between the Negros Oriental provincial government and the Development Bank of the Philippines for a P350 million loan to fund the completion of the Central Block Building of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.

Gov. Roel Degamo and Provincial Treasurer Danilo Mendez signed the MOA in behalf of the province as borrower, and assistant vice president Ma. Ofelia Tesorio, acting head of RMC-Negros, for the DBP as lender.

Tesorio said DBP is renewing its commitment and support to the infrastructure requirements of the province, after having been satisfied with the feasibility and need for the four-storey building, including the purchase of hospital equipment.

Degamo said he is thankful that the project will be completed despite the fund withdrawals made by the national government, and what he described as political bickering.

The loan will be paid in 15 years, inclusive of two years grace period on principal payment, and payable in 156 equal monthly amortizations, to reckon at the end of the 25 th month from initial drawdown.

Mendez said the provincial government can borrow up to P1.3 billion from any lending agency or banking institution, based on the certification issued by the Department of Finance.

It added that the province is given a maximum paying capacity of more than P200 million, which means that it can borrow additional funds required for the completion of the project, Mendez added.

Degamo said he wants the project to start as soon as possible, and for the contractor to work 24 hours a day, provided the quality of the project is not compromised.

“We are in a hurry due to the immediate need for additional beds at the provincial hospital,” he said.

The NOPH has a 280-bed capacity, but the number of patients is almost double.*JG