001-2010 converted EBMC into a corporation owned and controlled by the provincial government.
While LUMC has drawn many clients from neighboring provinces of La Union, EBMC cannot hope to attract paying patients from the Bicol mainland due to its geographical isolation and inadequate services, Mortel and Taway said.
Even the poor would find it difficult to pay for services at EBMC, they added, with the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) removing a financial source for medical assistance.
The economic enterprise should be self-sustaining, Mortel said, but based on its cash flow over the past three years, employees would be the first to be affected by the failing finances and EBMC would die a natural death.
In the meantime, the provincial government, already freed from the financial strain of addressing the salaries and benefits of EBMC employees, approved a pay raise in early 2013.
Araceli Wong herself, who expressed her inclination to revert EBMC back to its original state.
With only one member, Shirley Abundo, dissenting, the provincial board approved the ordinance transforming EBMC into a corporation, removing it from the annual budget of the province and allowing its officials and employees to rely on income for salaries, allowances and other benefits.
If this cannot be realized, then the restoration of EBMC to its original status as a plain government hospital is likely the proper action to do," the COA stated.
The projected income was unrealistic as EBMC could not even meet the fund requirement for its own operating cost without provincial subsidy.
EBMC administrative officer Estrella de Luna told the Inquirer that she had to beg the provincial treasurer's office to release the funds for salaries.
They cited minutes of the provincial board's meeting to show that the proposed ordinance for an EBMC ecoenterprise did not go through the required three readings before it was put to a vote and that copies were not circulated for plenary debate in the second reading.