The Guam Economic Development Authority has scheduled a public hearing next week to receive testimony on a bond proposal for the regional medical city of Guam.
According to a notice published in the Guam Daily Post, the $ 600 million bond, or a series of bonds, is intended to “finance the costs of acquiring all or part of the facilities and capital improvements” of the private hospital.
Melanie Mendiola, administrator of GEDA, confirmed when contacted to comment that local government involvement is only part of the procedures required for GRMC to pursue triple tax-exempt debt, and that GovGuam assumes no responsibility for obligations.
“It would be our responsibility to hold the hearing on their behalf, so that the public has a forum to express any concerns they may have about GRMC committing to repay this debt,” he said. she declared.
The public hearing will take place on Tuesday, November 30 at 9 a.m. at GEDA in room 511 of the ITC building in Tamuning.
The owner of the hospital is listed in the Notice of Public Hearing as Guam Healthcare Development Inc., which operates as GRMC. However, the bond proceeds “should be loaned to Blue Continent Health Care Guam Medical City, LLC.”
The Post has requested documents from the Ministry of Revenue and Taxes to verify whether the two companies are related or not.
GRMC officials were unable to immediately comment on the sale of the bond at the time of publication, including whether the bond amounted to a sale of the hospital, saying they were awaiting advice from its offices based in the Philippines before responding to media inquiries.
Past power struggles
This is not the first time that the parent company of the private hospital in Guam has taken an interest in its finances.
Around 2018 and 2019, GRMC was caught in a power struggle within the board of directors over the ownership of PSI Healthcare Development Services, a Filipino company that owns The Medical City in Metro Manila and its healthcare network. health, which includes GRMC.
Postal files show that a March 20, 2019 statement released by The Medical City said shareholders had begun to question the leadership of the company by Dr Alfredo Bengzon, after learning that $ 411 million had been spent. for opening and maintaining GRMC ‘far beyond the original. $ 220 million planned for the hospital in Guam, “the statement said.
Bengzon’s daughter-in-law Margaret Bengzon was ousted from her role as CEO of GRMC in November 2018.
The hospital was restructured following the change of management, including laying off 40 employees in June 2019 in order to reduce costs.