Saturday, November 25, 2006

P1B BLOOD Center to rise in Davao City

Dabawenyos can expect good economic and health prospects beginning the end of the year with the finalization of a plan to build a P1 billion sub-national blood center in the city.

“We hope to finalize plans for the construction of a sub-national blood center in the city by end of the year,” Department of Health XI director Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said. The center is a grant from the Japanese government.

The establishment of a blood facility in Davao, which will serve the whole Mindanao area, is expected to result to more employment opportunities for the construction, health and other allied sectors. The center will take care of all blood-related procedures like blood separation and blood testing.

Rosell-Ubial said the establishment of a sub-national blood center in the city is a result of the government’s decision to close down all commercial blood centers in the city and in the whole country effective September 29. Similar centers will also be established in Cebu for the Visayas Region and in Manila for the Luzon area.

The closure of all private blood centers in the country is one of the provisions of a 1997 law establishing the National Blood Supply System in the Philippines. The legality of the said was questioned in court and its implementation postponed due to a Temporary Restraining Order. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the said law is valid.

“The provision on the closure of private blood center seeks to ensure the safety of the country’s blood supply,” Rosell-Ubial said. It also seeks to promote risk pooling whereby the government can balance the demand and supply of blood in the whole country.

“Some areas in the region have more blood supply than demand; an example is Davao del Norte which has more blood supply but a minimal need compared to the demand in Davao City,” she said.

Three private blood centers in Southern Mindanao will be affected by the closure. Two of them are in Davao City while the other one is in Davao del Norte.

She said the people should not worry because the Philippine National Red Cross can assure them of a regular and cheaper blood supply. “We don’t have to fear exorbitant prices if the blood supply is handled by the government unlike the private sector which operates for a profit,” she added.(lovely a. carillo)

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