Press Release
November 17, 2020

Bong Go continues push to enhance healthcare services in various parts of the country as PRRD signs into law measures upgrading several local hospitals

Senator and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher "Bong" Go lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law seven local hospital bills which all seek to improve the delivery of healthcare services in various parts of the country.

These include measures which will establish hospitals and upgrade existing ones in Metro Manila, Iloilo City, and the provinces of Camarines Sur, Cagayan, Davao Occidental, and Surigao del Norte.

"As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to capacitate and improve our government health facilities is highlighted. And 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.

"I laud the President for his immediate action and continuous support in our bid to improve the healthcare system in the country," he added.

Among the newly signed measures include Republic Act 11495, which will establish Bicol Women's and Children's Hospital in the municipality of Pamplona in Camarines Sur and RA 11499, which expands the services of the Malita District Hospital in the capital town of Malita in Davao Occidental.

The five other laws will pave the way for the increase of bed capacities in the specified hospitals, improvement of their healthcare services, as well as the authorization for the increase of their respective medical personnel.

These are RA 11496, which will increase the bed capacity of the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City from 425 beds to 700 beds; RA 11497, which will also increase the bed capacity of Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center from 200 beds to 500 beds; RA 11498, which will increase the bed capacity of Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan from 500 beds to 1,000 beds; RA 11500, which will upgrade the Siargao District Hospital in Dapa, Surigao del Norte into a medical center and increase bed capacity from 50 to 100 beds and RA 11501, which will increase the bed capacity of Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City from 500 beds to 1,000 beds.

Most of these new laws will also provide for the upgrade of the hospitals' professional healthcare services and facilities, and authorize the increase in the number of its medical personnel.

During his sponsorship speech for the abovementioned measures back in July, Go thanked his fellow senators for supporting the immediate passage of these bills, adding that the pandemic has highlighted the need to address the lack of appropriate facilities and equipment in government hospitals, most especially in the provinces.

According to Go, the newly enacted laws will address these issues and will also complement the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act in line with the goal of the administration of providing quality healthcare services for all Filipinos, wherever they are in the country.

"Sa panahon ngayon, sinisigurado namin na pagandahin pa ang healthcare services sa bansa. Lalo na ngayong pandemya, dapat lamang na mas maigi pa ang ating pagtulak sa mga ganitong panukala upang maibalik natin sa mga Pilipino ang serbisyong nararapat para sa kanila," Go said in previous statements.

Go, who is a foremost advocate for improving the healthcare system and services in the country, has also been pushing for several other legislative measures concerning health.

Among these is his filed Senate Bill 1226 or the proposed Department of Health Hospital Bed Capacity Rationalization Act. This bill aims to authorize DOH to increase bed capacity and service capability of its retained hospitals. This will also allow the DOH to promulgate evaluation and approval guidelines without going through legislative processes.

Go also filed SB 1259 or the "Mandatory Quarantine Facilities Act of 2020." This mandates the establishment of quarantine facilities in every region in the country, strategically located and are accessible to a DOH hospital to ensure accessibility of these quarantine sites.

The Malasakit Centers Act was also authored by Go and was signed into law in December 2019. It aims to establish a one-stop shop in all hospitals run by DOH, where poor and indigent patients can conveniently avail of medical financial assistance from the government. There are 90 such Malasakit Centers fully operating in various parts of the country now.

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