ILOILO – As they continue to solidify their friendship with Philippines, the government of South Korea, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency, is now starting the expansion and development of three remote hospitals here.
“This may not be a huge project in terms of money but it is a noble project and I am proud that Korea is part of it,” said Korean Ambassador Lee Hyuk, who led the groundbreaking ceremonies of Iloilo Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Area Health System Strengthening Project held in Aleosan District Hospital.
The project, costing a total of US$7-million, aims to prevent the maternal and neonatal death due to poor health care in rural areas in the province.
Of the grant, US$3.08-million will be used for the reconstruction and upgrading of the emergency and delivery rooms of Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian, Jesus M. Colmenares Memorial District Hospital in Balasan, and Dr. Ricardo S. Provido Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Calinog.
Hyuk himself is sympathetic to the goals of the project because he, too, was born in a rural area where accessibility to quality healthcare is number one problem. “I was not born in the hospital. I was born in our house instead,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. repeatedly thanked the Koreans for their generosity.
“These hospitals badly need assistance because these hospitals are hospitals for those who have less in life. This is how important these hospitals are. We are doing our best to make these hospitals real hospitals for the poor. But we cannot achieve this dream without the assistance and crucial help and support of the Korean government,” he stressed.
He added that the assistance is a result of Korea’s gratitude to the Filipinos during the Korean War where some 2,000 soldiers were sent as reinforcement to help them secure their democracy.
This group of soldiers is known as Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea that is under the United Nations Command, the military arm of the United Nations during the armed conflict. During their mission, about 112 died and declared missing. (
Aside from Iloilo GIDA Health System Strengthening Project, KOICA will also provide US$10-million assistance to revitalize the fishing industry in areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Iloilo.
Known as the “Northern Iloilo Comprehensive Fishery Rehabilitation and Development”, the project will cover the reconstruction of the ports landing quays and causeways and berthing and servicing piers of Concepcion, Carles and Estancia.
It will also involve concrete revetment, trading halls, refrigeration facilities and plug-in, and improvement of the administration buildings.
It has also livelihood components such as mariculture, aqua-silviculture, seaweeds farming, development of fishery products and shell crafts. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)