HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL NOW KNOWN AS THE
BATANGAS MEDICAL CENTER (BatMC)
For the past 85 years, the Batangas Provincial Hospital has never been static. It is always in the process of change in all aspects. Looking back, this hospital was constructed sometime in the year 1927 during the administration of Governor MODESTO CASTILLO. It was through his efforts that the establishment of a Provincial Hospital was realized. This hospital was inaugurated and opened to the general public on January 1, 1928 as a “Provincial Hospital” with a bed capacity of 30, with Dr. Sixto L. Roxas, a prominent and well known physician of Batangas, as Chief of Hospital. There were three(3) wards for charity patients and three (3) private rooms and separate rooms for the Chief of Hospital, the Resident Physicians and the Administrative Officer. There was an Operating Room and an Out-Patient room. The Kitchen and Dining were situated at the rear portion of the main building.
In 1941, under the administration of Gov. VICENTE NOBLE, the bed capacity was increased and two (2) additional wings(pavilion type) and a separate delivery room were constructed. This project was funded out the Sweepstakes Allotment of the province, through the efforts of the provincial executives.
The operation of the hospital was temporarily suspended upon the arrival of the Japanese Imperial Forces who confiscated all its equipment and medicines. In 1943 the operation resumed temporarily until 1944. The Nurses Home during that time was burned by the Japanese soldiers, but the main building and other hospital structures in the compound were spared from the fire.
In April 1945, upon the arrival of the Liberating American Forces, the operation of the hospital operation resumed furnished and equipped with all the necessary medical supplies, equipments, surgical instrument and even light and water services.
In August 1, 1945, the hospital administration was turned over to the Commonwealth Government and all pre-war employees were recalled to service. Dr. SIXTO L. ROXAS, once again, headed the hospital staff. Improvement of its equipment was Commonwealth Government, all pre-war employees were recalled to service. Dr. SIXTO made possible by securing from the surplus depots here and in Manila such as: steel beds and mattresses, which replaced the cots, bedside tables, folding chairs, electrical sterilizer, etc. Two (2) water tanks were installed to ensure a continuous supply of water.
In March 28, 1948, Dr. SIXTO L. ROXAS died, after which Dr. VICENTE C. BERBA was designated to take charge of the Hospital, and later on was finally appointed as permanent Chief of Hospital.
In the early part of 1949, rehabilitation of the Nurses Home started financed partly by war damage funds amounting to Php. 10,500.00 and out of the hospital funds amounting to Php.4,482.60. After its completion, the Nurses Home was occupied on May 1, 1949.
Fiscal Year 1949-1950, maybe described as “memorable year” in the history of Batangas Provincial Hospital considering that during this time major improvements such as repair, repainting of hospital buildings, reconstruction and repainting of the kitchen and acquisition of surgical supplies were realized. However, that same year maybe called “lamentable” as well. In the afternoon of February 25, 1950, a bomb explosion occurred in the Philippine Constabulary (PC) Compound situated about two hundred (200) yards away from the hospital. The newly constructed hospital proper was almost completely destroyed including the kitchen and other buildings in the hospital premises.
Sometime in 1950, after the tragic incident damaging almost all the hospital proper, a delegation of residents of Batangas including Mayors of some towns of Batangas; representatives of the Rotary Club of Batangas; Batangas Women’s Club; prominent political leaders and civic spirited citizens of Batangas went to the Office of the then President Elpidio Quirino. The reception of the delegation was made possible thru the efforts of Dr. OLIGARIO CANTOS. As a result of the position requested by the delegation, funds from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes was given to Dr. VICENTE G. BERBA, the then Chief of Hospital thru Dr. OLIGARIO CANTOS, in September, 1950, after which the reconstruction work of the hospital was started in the middle of November, same year in accordance with specifications prepared by the District Engineer’s Office. The whole reconstruction work including painting and other improvements were completed in 1951. Bed capacity was 70.
As provided for in Circular No. 112 dated April 17, 1953 in accordance with the new classification of existing hospitals with regard to bed capacities, the Batangas Provincial Hospital was classified into a 70-Bed capacity hospital.
On July 28, 1953, seven truckloads of hospital equipment together with one New Ford Ranchwagon Ambulance was given to this hospital as part of ICA-NEC Aid. Also, the arrival of the MSA-PHILCUSA hospital rehabilitation aide consisting of beds, cribs, bassinets, blankets, Infra red and Ultraviolet lamps 100 MA X-ray Unit, laboratory, dental, EENT, Operating Room equipment, etc. Improvement of the hospital services to its patients was made possible.
From the Php. 50,000.00 Pork Barrel Allotment of the then Speaker Jose P. Laurel, Jr., an Out Patient Department (OPD) was constructed at the west side of the hospital wherein the Dental Clinic, the EENT Clinic, X-ray, Laboratory, pharmacy, Dispensary are located. The construction of the Out-Patient Department made available the space formerly occupied by the Dispensary, laboratory, Laboratory, Pharmacy, and X-ray, as the male and female wards.
Expansion of the hospital Mess Hall was made possible by the additional space now occupied by the kitchen. Three (3) Nurses stations were were also constructed in line with departmentalization of the hospital.
In 1955, the first hospital water tank was installed, the contents of which is more or less 5,000 gallons.
In July10, 1962, the then Secretary of Health, Dr. Francisco Q. Duque, implemented Department Order No. 205-A, series 1962, which states that “Effective July 10, 1962, pursuant to the provisions of Section 4 of RA 1243 as amended by RA 2251, the then Batangas Provincial Hospital was designated as “Training Hospital” On that same year, the Conference Room of about 200 seat capacity, and the Medical Records Section and Library were constructed.
In November, 1962, a concrete septic tank of 100,000 gallons was constructed for the disposition of sewage which is located at the eastern portion of the hospital compound. In 1968, the fencing of the western portion of the hospital grounds was done out of the realized savings of the hospital. In September 11, 1968, Dr. VICENTE G. BERBA retired as Chief of Hospital. Dr. PEDRO L. SANCIANCO was designated as OIC and was later on appointed as Chief of Hospital on January 5, 1970.
In 1970, the hospital underwent a radical facelift when several pavilions and the outpatient building were built. That same year, the DOH Reparation donated a Mitsubishi Generator with 140 KVA, 1800 rpn AND 220 volts. In 1971, the two Operating Rooms was constructed and the renovation of the Laboratory and X-Ray was realized.
In 1971, there was another extension- a Cancer Pavilion or better known as “Station IV,or Pay Ward, the funds thru Congressman EXPEDITO LEVISTE and the funds for its completion came from hospital savings.
In 1972, due to increased admissions of patients, the hospital was increased from 100 to 150.
In February 5, 1973, the hospital was designated as Batangas Regional Hospital (Training and Teaching), by virtue of Department Order No. 60-B, series of 1973 thru Secretary of Health then, Dr. CLEMENTE S. GATMAITAN. BRH was under the direct supervision and control of the Regional Health Office No. 4-A.
In 1973, the Training Office was constructed for the Training Residents and Student Affiliates.
In 1975, due to increased number of hospital patients, the 150 bed capacity was further increased to 200.
In 1976, Cong. Expedito Leviste gave to the hospital from his appropriationsf 3 units of school Pre-Fab for the initial constuction of the New OPD located in the Southwest portion of the hospital separate from the main building. The building was named after the Chief Executive of the province of Batangas former Gov. MODESTO CASTILLO. The building was identified and called “GOV. MODESTO CASTILLO MEMORIAL BUILDING, OUT-PATIENT DEPARTMENT, BATANGAS REGIONAL HOSPITAL’, to honor an illustrious citizen of Batangas, who had contributed unselfishly and untiringly, both as an individual and as a public official. That same year, to improve the water supply system of the hospital, a 25,000 gallons elevated steel water tank on a 40 feet high steel tower was erected. Followed next was the construction of a big Mess Hall and Kitchen for a 200 bed capacity hospital.
In 1977, still there was sign of prosperity when the hospital had undertaken construction like the Laundry Building, Morgue building, Car Shed, Nurses Home and Mini-Park, all taken from the hospital savings.
In 1978, still from the Capital Outlay (CO), there were several renovations and construction: Old Kitchen to Supply Room Office; Stock Room; Central Supply Room; Delivery Room; Charity Ward Toilet and Demonstration Room. Also included in the list was renovation of the Nursery Room - one (1) for pathological Nursery and one (1) for the Non-pathological or well-baby Nursery;
After nine (9) long years, in December 1987, the DOH released the amount of Php. 300,00 taken from its Capital Outlay (C0) for the repair and renovation of the LABORATORY Department.
In early 1988, the repair and renovation of the Medical and Psychiatric (Mental Clinic) of the hospital out of the Capital Outlay (C0) in the amount of Php. 250,000.00 was undertaken.
From its humble beginnings, the Batangas Regional Hospital has metamorphosed into the premiere tertiary government hospital in the whole of Region IV-A. Excluded from the devolution wave that swept the country’s health system upon the enactment of the Local Government Code, the hospital remains under the direct supervision of the Center of Health Development IV-A (CALABARZON) of the DOH. The hospital serves as the end referral hospital of lower category hospitals in the area. The has turned out hundreds of graduates of its residency training programs and they constitute the majority of consultants of different specialties and subspecialties in the area.
Information dissemination was never overlooked. Reinforcing this activity is through radio interviews aimed to generate public awareness on the different program thrusts of the DOH. Outreach program is a continuing commitment of Batangas Regional to the people of Batangas in coordination and cooperation with the civic and religious organizations. For a broader and effective health provision, the hospital adopted networking with other government hospitals. Special programs were coordinated to civic and religious organizations for information dissemination.
In NOVEMBER 19, 2009, at last the long wait was over. By virtue of REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9791, “An Act Amending Republic Act No. 7532 , CONVERTING THE BATANGAS REGIONAL HOSPITAL TO THE BATANGAS MEDICAL CENTER, FURTHER INCREASING ITS BED CAPACITY TO FIVE HUNDRED (500) BEDS,” was approved and signed into law by former President GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. In January, 2013, under the administration of Dr. RAMONCITO C. MAGNAYE, Chief of Hospital III, the Batangas Regional Hospital was renamed as BATANGAS MEDICAL CENTER (BatMC)