Press Release
June 3, 2020

Several local hospital bills sponsored by Bong Go
get Senate approval on second reading

Seven local hospital bills sponsored by Senator and Chair of the Committee on Health and Demography Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go were approved on second reading by the Senate on Tuesday, June 2. These bills seek to further improve the delivery of medical and healthcare services to the Filipino public amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The proposed measures include bills seeking to establish the Bicol Women's and Children's Hospital in Camarines Sur; and to further capacitate Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City; Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City; Siargao District Hospital in Surigao del Norte; Malita District Hospital in Davao Occidental; Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center in Las Piñas City; and Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Cagayan.

After minor committee amendments from Go, the seven bills were approved on second reading and are now slated for the third and final reading.

Earlier, the Senator highlighted the need to act urgently on local hospital measures given the ongoing pandemic. In his sponsorship speech of the measures, he cited data from 2018 which reveals that almost 65% or 284 out of 437 public hospitals were over their limit in terms of bed capacity and patient admittance.

"This included 51 or 73% of our DOH hospitals," Go said.

Expressing his concern for the welfare of many Filipino patients, Go also lamented that the overcrowding issue in provincial hospitals has become more pronounced due to the global health crisis.

"Sana sa pandemic natin ngayon, huwag nating tagalan ang mga priority bills, lalong lalo na involving health," Go said.

"As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to improve our government health facilities," he said.

Recounting his experiences in going around many hospitals in the country, Go also said that he witnessed firsthand the hardships Filipinos all over the country have to endure just to seek medical treatment. He firmly believes that increasing the bed capacity of hospitals further will reinforce their compliance regarding the physical distancing measures to prevent spread of contagious diseases.

"Ako, sa kakaikot ko rin po sa buong bansa, napakadaming pong hospital. Minsan nakahilera nalang diyan sa tabi sa corridor ang dalawang pasyente sa isang kama. Kaya lalo na sa panahon ngayon, nagkakahawaan na dahil sa kakulangan ng ating health facilities," Go said.

If passed into law, Go assured that the measures will boost the capacity of hospitals, especially in the provinces. He added that they will complement the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program of the government by ensuring quality health care access to Filipinos in the countryside.

"We aim to capacitate our government hospitals, especially in the provinces. This is also in line with the Balik Probinsiya initiative of the government," Go said.

"Improving health capacity and upgrading capability of hospitals in the provinces would help enhance the health and overall well-being among the entire Philippine population," he added.

The Senator also thanked his colleagues for the support for these measures, saying that such initiatives will enhance the capabilities of government hospitals across the country to look after the well-being of the people.

"It is our duty as legislators to enact measures that would help address the lack of appropriate facilities and equipment in our government hospitals, most especially in these crucial times," Go said.

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