The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, led by its Administrator, Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu met with the SPMC Medical Center Chief of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Dr. Ricardo B. Audan on 5 December 2022 to discuss the ongoing construction of the Veterans Ward in the hospital.

The construction of the Veterans Ward in SPMC started in 2019 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When Usec. Mapagu visited and inspected the construction in February this year, it was expected that the Veterans Ward will be completed within 2022. However the construction of the Veterans Ward has not yet been completed this year and was held on abeyance due to the pending concerns with the hospital’s Emergency Ward.

Dr. Audan and his team of engineers explained that due to the ongoing renovation of the hospital’s Emergency Ward, emergency patients were scattered and beds were temporarily set up outside the Veterans Ward construction site. This led to the temporary suspension of the construction of the Veterans Ward.

To check on its current status, USec. Mapagu also conducted an inspection visit to the construction site of the SPMC Veterans Ward on the same day and consulted the engineers about the tasks that could be worked out without disturbing the patients near the area and which could help in hastening the project development.

During the meeting, Usec. Mapagu reiterated the importance of the Veterans Ward to the Davaoeño Veterans and urged the SPMC team to complete the project in the soonest possible time in 2023.

The establishment of the Veterans Wards was initiated to extend the Veterans Hospitalization and Medical Care Program which aims to provide hospitalization and medical benefits to Filipino veterans. As veterans and beneficiaries residing in remote areas in the country cannot easily travel to access treatments provided by the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), the establishment of veterans wards around the country will allow veterans to receive health care services without the need to travel far.