Guam – The Guam Regional Medical City says a Qualifying Certificate is a key component of its success and is counting on the governor’s approval of the proposed tax breaks for the new hospital to be able to thrive in the future.
The Medical City’s CEO Margaret Bengzon says an application for a qualifying certificate that would give the healthcare organization tax breaks is still in its early stages. While it has been submitted to the Guam Economic Development Authority, it’s still a long way from getting approved–an approval nonetheless the Philippine-based company is banking on.
With the backlash the Medical City has received from local health providers, we asked Bengzon how prepared they are if their application is denied.
“It’s a very important part of our business model. It’s a key ingredient to our success and so we’re gonna have to think long and hard about what that’s gonna mean. Like I said, I’m really looking to the situation where that’s not gonna be the case,” says Bengzon.
In fact, Bengzon says, there hasn’t been an organization on Guam that has made the kind of investment GRMC is proposing to make in quite some time.
“I will be bold enough to say that I don’t think there’s been any organization, any organization in a long, long time that can make the contributions that we are going to make to Guam and Micronesia in terms of new jobs, in terms of improving the quality of life, in terms of creating new services, in terms of human investment, in terms of import substitution because people will not have to travel anymore for health care and they can stay on Guam,” asserts Bengzon.
A qualifying certificate will give a beneficiary tax breaks. Bengzon quantified those tax breaks to about $5 million a year, but she emphasizes that while that sounds like a lot, it’s only a fraction of how much the hospital will be pumping into the Guam economy, hundreds of millions of a dollars a year.
After the initial phase of the application process is over, the community will be given an opportunity to raise its concerns through a public hearing. While there has been some criticism from the community about the Medical City’s QC application because the government just cannot afford to give away tax breaks, Bengzon is optimistic that after thorough analysis of the QC advantages, island residents will agree that it’s in their bests interests.
“In the end reason will prevail. People will see that this is the right thing to do,” Bengzon notes.
“We are a member of the Guam community and we’re here to stay and we’re looking for that partnership and collaboration to be mutually fulfilling, mutually engaging and mutually enriching,” adds Bengzon.
Bengzon notes that it will be months before a public hearing is held as their QC application is still in its review process.