TABUK, Kalinga — Officials of Kalinga province broke ground for the construction of the Kalinga Children’s Ward and Wellness Center in this component city on Friday.
Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac and Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang led the conduct of the “songa”, a traditional ritual to shoo away bad spirits, at the site.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, who visited the province in time for the groundbreaking, also joined the ritual.
The Kalinga Children’s Ward and Wellness Center will be built at the compound of the old provincial hospital.
Baac said the children’s center will be a 60-bed capacity, three-story building.
He said the provincial government has earmarked PHP56 million for the project. On top of that, he said, PHP60 million would be sourced from the national government with the help of lawmakers Ejercito and Mangaoang.
In a short message during the activity, Ejercito assured the Kalingas of his support for the completion of the project.
“Be rest assured of my support. You have my commitment,” the senator said. “Ibabalik ko po ang suportang ibinigay ninyo noong 2013 [elections]. (I will return the support you gave me during the 2013 elections),” he said.
Ejercito is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Finance.
He arrived in Kalinga riding his big bike, together with his friend celebrity Raymart Santiago and the rider group Adventure Team Philippines (Isabela Chapter).
Mangaoang also assured his “kailians” (townmates) of his best efforts to get the additional funding needed to complete the project that will benefit the children in Kalinga.
By JESSE MAGUIYA