Press Release
May 17, 2023

Pia: substitute bill establishing regional specialty centers 'more economical'
Co-sponsorship speech of Senator Pia S. Cayetano on SB No. 2212, the Regional Specialty Centers Act

Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, I rise to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 2212 under Committee Report No. 67, otherwise known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act. The said measure took into consideration my Senate Bill No. 249.

Mr. President, much has been said about this measure. Obviously, I am a supporter because I have filed the measure on this. But what I would like to focus on is the fact that what makes this bill special is that the specialty centers will be within the DOH hospitals.

It is not difficult to recognize the need for specialty centers around the country. But the reality is, it will be very expensive to put up specialty centers on their own. So this bill, which provides for the specialty centers to be within the DOH hospitals solves a big part of this problem. It will be much more economical precisely because it will be able to make use of the existing DOH facilities. It is clearly cost-efficient and practical.

Mr President, I'd just also like to add that as Senior Vice Chair of the Committee on Finance, I advocated for more funding for these specialty centers. In the 2023 GAA, the Senate added P2.2 billion for specialty centers. This is just one part of the pie in the solution of our health issues in the country.

We cannot deny that primary healthcare must receive the biggest budget. Primary healthcare will allow our health professionals to attend to the needs of most of the members of the population and only when it can no longer be handled in the primary healthcare level do we then have to elevate them to these specialty hospitals and the specialists. So this is much needed, but always hand-in-hand with primary healthcare.

Thank you, Mr President. And I look forward to seeing this become a law with the support of our colleagues. Thank you.

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