Press Release
May 23, 2021

Recognizing the heroism of medical frontliners, Bong Go to recommend official recognition for exemplary service of PGH medical personnel amid the fire incident

In light of the recent fire that broke out in the Philippine General Hospital, Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher "Bong" Go expressed his admiration for the medical team and personnel of the Philippine General Hospital who continue to serve and make sacrifices for their patients despite the mishap and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"I commend the brave medical team of the Philippine General Hospital for their unwavering services and sacrifices to help our country combat the ongoing pandemic," said Go in a statement.

"I also salute the heroism of the personnel of the PGH, especially those who risked their lives to save their patients during the recent fire incident that hit the hospital," he added.

A fire hit state-run PGH early morning of Sunday, May 16, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection. The blaze originated in an operating room on the third floor of the health facility.

The Manila Public Information Office said there were no reported injuries or casualties in the fire. As of press time, investigation on the cause of the incident is still ongoing.

He said that there is a need to immediately rehabilitate the affected areas of the PGH, especially now that the country is facing a pandemic.

Meanwhile, Go said that he will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the bestowal of recognition and honor to the medical frontliners of PGH for their courage and heroism despite the recent fire incident and amid the ongoing health crisis.

"Dahil sa ipinamalas nilang tapang at malasakit sa kapwa, irerekomenda ko kay Pangulong Duterte na gawaran ng parangal ang medical frontliners bilang pagkilala sa kanilang kabayanihan," he said.

The Senator also hopes that their bravery will serve as an example for all Filipinos whom he enjoined to face the crisis together with hope, compassion and understanding for one another.

"Nawa'y magsilbing halimbawa sila sa ating mga mamamayan upang ipagpatuloy ang ating bayanihan," stated Go.

"Bilang nagkakaisang bansa, sama-sama nating harapin ang krisis nang puno ng pag-asa, pagmamahal, at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa tungo sa mas maayos at maginhawang kinabukasan," he said.

Earlier, Go said that he will support efforts to repair the damage caused by the fire and seek additional funds if needed aside from the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the Department of Health for the immediate procurement of the medical equipment and rebuilding of structures destroyed by the fire incident.

"Nagkausap kaagad kami ni Dr. Legaspi at sabi ko nga, kung ano ang mga kailangan nilang maitulong natin ay tutulong kami. Kanina nga po ay pumunta ang aking mga staff, may dala nang konting tulong, mga pagkain po, food packs, vitamins, masks, face shields," said Go on Monday, May 17.

"Ang importante dito makabalik sa normal ang operation ng PGH. Sabi ko kay Dr. Legaspi na kung ano man ang maitutulong ko ay tutulong kami ni Pangulong Duterte, lalo na po sa mga nasirang kagamitan, equipment nila," he added.

On May 18, Duterte also ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways to immediately repair the damaged portion of the hospital using the President's Social Fund. He also directed National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. and deputy chief implementer and testing czar Vince Dizon to assess the situation and damage inflicted by the fire.

"Importante po, walang nasaktan. Alam naman natin sa ngayon, may COVID patients. Sabi po, nalipat sa Sta. Ana Hospital ang twelve na pasyente. Sabi ko, kung anong maitutulong namin, 'wag silang mag-atubiling lumapit sa opisina," he said earlier.

Go also mentioned that he is willing to assist in providing a higher budget for the hospital next year to build back better what has been destroyed by the fire.

"Handa kaming tumugon agad sa karagdagang budget kung kakailanganin agad for next year, lalo na sa infrastructure na nasira. Ngayong taon na ito kung ano ang kailangang i-address agad ang mga equipment na kailangan handa tayong tumulong," Go said.

Meanwhile, he assured that the Malasakit Center in the hospital, launched in 2018, remains fully operational to provide government medical and financial assistance to poor and indigent patients. There are currently 113 Malasakit Centers nationwide.

"Tuluy-tuloy naman po ito. Meron tayong Malasakit Center d'yan sa PGH. Matagal na pong bukas, 2018 hanggang ngayon, handang tumulong sa ating mga kababayan," he said.

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