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New DOH regional hub rises in Lipa City

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LIPA City — THE construction of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development CALABARZON Regional Office officially commenced with the groundbreaking ceremony last Saturday, March 16, just a stone throw from the Lipa City Hall.

It will rise on a 1.3 hectare property donated by the Lipa City government and expected to foster better coordination and promote efficiency in the discharge of its functions.

This came about through the cooperation of Mayor Eric B. Africa, Socioeconomic planning Secretary Ralph Recto, the DOH, and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Africa said hosting the construction of the DOH office would also provide a boost to the economy of Lipa, the province, and the region.

“Syempre, dagdag lakas ng ekonomiya at maaasahang tanggapan ang bunga nito para sa mamamayan ng Lungsod ng Lipa, ang lalawigan ng Batangas at buong CALABARZON,” he said.

By Executive Order No. 246 Series 2023, the Regional Development Council IV-A affirmed the City of Calamba, Province of Laguna, as the site of the regional center for health development CaLaBaRZon.

To foster better coordination and promote efficiency in the discharge of functions between and among agencies operating in the CALABARZON area, all national line agencies are ordered to locate their regional offices in Calamba City as soon as possible.

Thus, transferring the Department of Health-Center for Health Development CALABARZON Regional Office to Calamba City was pursued. 

However, despite the region’s best efforts to relocate, challenges to move to Calamba City resulted in a halt, and scouting for a potential area outside of the said city was done. 

Following extensive consultations with various stakeholders, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Lipa City, under the leadership of Mayor Eric Africa, has generously allocated space for the Center for Health Development (CHD) CALABARZON through a Usufruct Agreement. Additionally, the LGU has committed to formalizing this arrangement by executing a Deed of Donation for 1.3 hectares of land.

With this, the DOH CHD CALABARZON shall commence the construction of a 4-storey building with a roof deck as its regional office in Barangay Marawoy, Lipa City, Batangas Province, with a total building footprint of about 8,000 sqm.

The realization of this project was made possible through the steadfast support of Secretary Ralph Recto from the Department of Finance. Secretary Recto, a former district representative and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, played a pivotal role in securing the initial funding for the project under the 2023 General Appropriations Act, as well as additional funding for the construction of the CHD CALABARZON. 

Special recognition is also due to Secretary Teodoro Herbosa and Assistant Secretary Ariel Valencia for their invaluable guidance and supervision during the initial construction phase of the CHD CALABARZON Office.

CALABARZON is the country’s prime region with the most extensive land area. As of 2020, the region has a population of 16, 195,042 representing 14.85% of the country’s entire population, with a land area of 16,873.31 square kilometer and a population density of 977 people per square kilometer.

Numerous national line agencies’ Region IV-A offices, like the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Regional Training Center are already based in Lipa City, Batangas making the city a suitable location for the regional office.

To date, the DOH-CHD CALABARZON’ Regional Office is located in Quezon City, Metro Manila. By transferring to Lipa City, [the largest city and the economic center of Batangas Province], we are officially placing the regional office operations at the center of CALABARZON-ensuring better and more accessible public health services to its communities and furthering the DOH’s mission to guarantee optimal health for urban populations, especially the poor and marginalized.| – Joenald Medina rayos

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