House Bill 8606, which enacts the ongoing construction of the public hospital in Bocaue, Bulacan to be named after the late Mayor Joni Villannueva as a nationally-funded government hospital, has been approved in third and final reading in Congress.
According to House Bill 8606, the Joni Villanueva General Hospital will be turned into a Level 2 hospital and funded by the national government through the Department of Health (DOH).
The funds to be used here will be part of the annual General Appropriations Act or the national budget and it will be the first nationally-funded hospital in the province of Bulacan and the sixth in the entire Central Luzon region.
As a Level 2 DOH-hospital, it will have approximately 100 bed capacity and standard hospital amenities such as emergency rooms, operating room complex, isolation rooms, x-ray machines, level 3 laboratory and more.
It will also receive patients not only from Bocaue town and Bulacan province, but also from neighboring provinces.
The bill also states that the hospital was named Joni Villanueva General Hospital in recognition and honor of the late Mayor of Bocaue who initiated its establishment.
It was learned that it would first be named as Joaquin Villanueva Center or Bocaue Public Hospital which will be the extension of the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in Pampanga but in the unexpected circumstances, the then mayor, Mayor Joni, died.
“Sa ngalan po ng aming pamilya, ng buong bayan ng Bocaue at ng dakilang lalawigan ng Bulacan, tayo po ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat sa Kongreso sa suporta at pag-apruba ng panukalang ito. Ito ay direktang pagkilala at pagtugon ng Kongreso sa pangangailangan ng mga Bulakenyo para sa de-kalidad na serbisyong medikal. Ito po ang kauna-unahang nationally-funded hospital sa buong lalawigan ng Bulacan na magbibigay ng abot-kayang serbisyong medikal hindi lamang sa mga Bocaueño at Bulakenyo bagkus maging sa mga taga-karatig siyudad at lalawigan,” said CIBAC Party-List Representative at House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva.
Deputy Speaker Villanueva added that this hospital is the fulfillment of Mayor Joni’s lofty dream for all Bocaueño and Bulakenyo.
“Alam kong ito ay nagdudulot ngayon ng galak at tuwa hindi lamang sa kanya doon sa langit bagkus sa bawat Bocaueñong nagmamahal sa kanya,” he added.
It can be remembered that the construction of a hospital in Bocaue town was one of the platforms of the late mayor when she first ran for mayor of Bocaue. With the help of his brother Senator Joel Villanueva and the CIBAC Party-List, the project was gradually completed.
“This project was Mayor Joni’s brainchild – from donating her own land property to be the site of this hospital, into lobbying the national government for appropriations needed for its operations – she did it all.
Mayor Joni gave her all in the service of the people of Bocaue. Mayor Joni really lives up to her principle: Bocaueños and Bulakeños deserve nothing but the best, ” said former CIBAC Representative Attorney Sherwin Tugna, wife of the late mayor.
Mayor Villanueva passed away on May 28, 2020 at the height of the pandemic, which despite her illness continued to serve Bocaueños affected by the existing health crisis. She died of sepsis secondary to bacterial pneumonia.
House Bill 8606 will be brought to the Senate to be studied and voted on before it is brought to the President for his signature before it is enacted into law.