Published on
17 January 2023

The San Pedro Hospital is a critical resource for the population of Davao City in the Philippines. The city, which is the largest on the island of Mindanao, only has nine hospital beds for every 10,000 people and that number is even lower in other parts of the island. These scarce healthcare services are further strained by conflict, natural disasters, and a high prevalence of conditions such as tuberculosis, dengue, and now COVID-19.

Founded in 1948 by the Dominican Sisters of the Trinity and still operated by the religious congregation, San Pedro Hospital is an essential lifeline for the thousands of patients that seek its services every year. Unfortunately, its emergency room, equipped with only seven beds, is limited in its capacity to receive patients in a safe and comforting environment. The Department of Health assessment concluded that it does not meet its requirements for a basic emergency complex.

A Canadian religious congregation responded to this urgent needs by making a dedicated contribution to the Roncalli International Foundation to renovate the hospital’s first floor and enable staff to provide quality healthcare to their patients. The substantial $1.5 million renovations will not only upgrade the emergency room, but will also modernize the outpatient unit, the lobby and the pharmacy. The Roncalli Foundation is overseeing the management of the project.

The end result will be an expanded emergency room to treat more patients; a comfortable waiting area that can accommodate the elderly and people with disabilities; a separate entrance for trauma patients to ensure enhanced privacy; and a separate entrance and section for patients requiring isolation.


The hospital, which was also hindered by a lack of funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, received an additional boost at the end of the year, with emergency support in the amount of $3.9 million. This aid is aimed to help cover the costs of equipment and staff salaries, so that the hospital could continue to provide care to some of the poorest people in the region.

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