Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari was recently invited to speak during the Adaptive Governance and Innovation for Local Executives (AGILE) Webinar for Local Government Units (LGUs), dubbed as “From Purse to Purpose: Sound Local Financial Management,” on July 12, 2022. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Office 8 revealed that Baybay City is among the LGUs that was awarded the seal of Good Financial Housekeeping affirming the LGU’s honesty and full transparency and accountability in spending and auditing of public funds. As of May 27, 2022, only three (3) provinces, five (5) cities, and forty-five (45) municipalities in Eastern Visayas passed the Good Financial Housekeeping standards.
During his presentation Mayor Cari recalled that, “Way back 1998, Baybay City was the biggest municipality in Region 8 but with very limited resources. Thus, we consulted the barangay officials and the different sectors of the society and we found out that one of the needs of the Baybayanons is improved health services. Thus, the LGU established its own diagnostic center with laboratory facilities, ultra-sound and x-ray so that we need not go far just to avail of these health services. ”
He added that before the establishment of the then Baybay Diagnostic Center, Baybayabons go either to Ormoc City, Tacloban City, or even as far as Cebu City just to undergo the necessary laboratory services, ultra-sound and x-ray. What is more important is that it was the only LGU-managed diagnostic center in the region then. “We also encouraged our constituents to have a regular check-up to ensure that they are in good health,” he added.
And while he was still the Congressman of the 5th District of Leyte, Mayor Cari managed to get funds for the construction of the new Western Leyte Provincial Hospital (WLPH), thru President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. He said that, “We have constructed a very beautiful hospital which passed the standards of the Department of Health (DOH) and is now operating in full capacity. Even the DOH Region 8 knows that the Immaculate Conception Hospital is not only catering to the health care needs of the Baybayanons but that of the neighboring municipalities and province as well, especially in the 5th District of Leyte.”
It could be recalled that during his first term as the City Mayor of Baybay City, he proposed to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) to request the Leyte Provincial Government, thru Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla, to turn over the management of the Western Leyte Provincial Hospital (WLPH) to the Baybay City LGU. And after a series of consultations, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the devolution of the operations and management of the Western Leyte Provincial Hospital was signed, in September 8, 2020, between the Provincial Government of Leyte and the Baybay City LGU and the name of the hospital was changed to Immaculate Conception Hospital (ICH).
“And because the Department of Health is aware that we are serving not only our constituents but as well as that of the nearby municipalities, DOH will be donating CT Scan and MRI so that our patients need not travel to Tacloban, Cebu or Manila to avail of these services,” ended Mayor Cari.