Press Release
May 20, 2020

Villar To Fund PhP500M Expansion of Las Pinas General Hospital from 200-Bed to 500-Bed Capacity

Senator Cynthia Villar is earmarking PhP500 million this year to fund the expansion of the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center (LPGH & STC) in order to increase its bed capacity from the present 200 to 500 beds. The construction of the additional eight-storey building is slated to be finished next year.

Villar has filed Senate Bill No. 143 to implement the increase in the bed capacity of LPGH & STC and upgrade its service facilities and professional healthcare services. The proposed bill is set for committee hearing in the Senate on May 26 (Tuesday). The House Bill No. 6036 authored by Congw Camille Villar was passed March 2, 2020.

The senator also channelled PhP144 million last year to LPGH & STC to purchase land and start building construction. She cited there is an urgent need to expand and upgrade public hospitals and health facilities in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that has increased the number of patients needing hospitalization.

"We are in the middle of a healthcare crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic, according to global health experts themselves, is here to stay. But as it stands now, existing hospital facilities are not enough to meet the requirements. So, I believe increasing the bed capacity of government hospitals will be a big help to the people," said Villar.

According to the analysis made by the UP Covid-19 Pandemic Response Team, if the country will not be able to "flatten the curve" or significantly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus "the healthcare system will be overwhelmed way beyond their capacity as clearly seen in the relatively low number of hospital and ICU beds". Approximately 35,000 additional beds are required to accommodate the peak number of cases in an R0=2 scenario, where a COVID-positive person can infect two others.

"The ECQ has been modified or relaxed in many areas and it will be lifted sooner or later, so we have to be prepared. Our facilities should be in place. In fact, as the testing become widely available, there will be more Covid-19 cases," Villar said.

There are about 456 hospitals in the country with a total bed capacity of 67,119. Approximately 41% of these beds are in government-owned hospitals while the remaining 59% are in private hospitals.

Villar cited that majority of existing hospital beds are being used for treating non-Covid patients, so local government units (LGUs) should really ensure the availability of more hospital beds for Covid-19 patients. Investment in healthcare facilities, she cited, is a must.

"Once the expansion of LPGH & STC is completed, the facilities for Covid-19 and non-Covid patients can be separated to avoid the spread of the virus, one building each. That would also ensure that regular healthcare services are not disrupted," the senator said. She added that LPGH & STC is a DOH-operated hospital that serves the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighboring provinces.

Even when she was still the representative of her home city of Las Piñas, Villar prioritized the modernization of the then Las Piñas District Hospital. She authored Republic Act 9240 in 2004 that converted it into LPGH & STC and increased the bed capacity of the hospital from 50 to 200 beds. Since then, the upgrade and expansion of the hospital has been continuous making it among the most modern in Metro Manila.

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