Press Release
June 2, 2021

Senate approves 13 local hospital measures sponsored by Bong Go as he assured non-stop service to promote and fight for the welfare of poor and marginalized Filipinos

The Senate on Monday, May 31, approved on third and final reading 13 local hospital bills sponsored by Senator Christopher "Bong" Go. In a speech delivered during the session, Go thanked his colleagues for their support for the said measures.

"Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng ating mga kasamahan dito sa Senado, majority man or minority, sa inyo, Mr. President, at sa ating Majority Floor Leader, Senator Zubiri, for providing the needed assistance in shepherding these measures for their passage," said Go.

He also thanked Senate Minority Leader, Senator Frank Drilon, for his help and bringing to the Senate's attention the issue of devolution of health services which, according to Go, needs to be studied extensively.

"I know both of us are just passionate in wanting to make lives better for all Filipinos," Go remarked.

In his speech, Go, who is chair of the Senate Committee on Health, further reiterated his dedication to perform his responsibilities as a senator dutifully.

"Sa totoo lang po, kahit araw-araw po akong maghi-hearing dito sa Senado, wala pong problema. Kahit ginagawa na nang boxing match ng ating Majority Floor Leader, basta po sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan," he said.

Despite his best efforts, the Senator acknowledged that there were many factors that contributed to the time it took to finalize the bills prior to reaching the Senate plenary. Among these include the documentary requirements that local government units have to complete.

"Pero may proseso po tayong dapat pagdaanan. Kahit nakapag-hearing na tayo sa komite, kailangan pa rin masiguro na kumpleto ang requirements," he said.

"Dahil maaaring hindi rin ma-implementa ang mga ipapasa nating batas kung hindi rin naman kumpleto ang mga kailangan, so iniiwasan po natin na ma-veto po itong mga bills na talagang pinaghirapan po natin," he added.

Go also mentioned that committee chairs exercise their discretion to review and deliberate proposed bills, a prerogative which the Senator said he respects.

"Discretion din naman ng Chair kung kailan isasalang ang mga bills sa kanyang komite. In fact, sixteen of my bills have not been heard by the respective committees but I respect the discretion of my colleagues if and when they see it fit to hear the measures under their committees," he said.

"Last year, we focused on national bills which may make us better prepared for future pandemics. We also managed to pass eleven hospital laws na nakapag-sumite po kaagad ng requirements," he added.

Go, then, stressed that it is and has always been his passion to help his fellow Filipinos. "At hindi po ako titigil na ipaglaban kung ano po ang makakabuti sa ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na po sa mga mahihirap nating mga kapatid na Pilipino."

"Kahit na anong hirap ang pagdaanan ko, basta po kapakanan ng ating mga kababayang mahihirap, ipaglalaban ko po," assured Go.

With the passage of the 13 local hospital bills, the Senator continues to underscore the need to strengthen the country's healthcare capacity.

"Dapat patuloy nating palakasin ang ating healthcare capacity, magdagdag ng mga kama, magtatag ng mga dagdag na ospital at palakasin ang serbisyo na maaaring maibigay ng ating mga pampublikong ospital," he urged.

"Dahil sa totoo lang po, ang mga mahihirap nating mga kababayan ang pumupunta sa mga pampublikong ospital. Para po ito sa kanila. Hindi naman po pumupunta ang mga mayayaman sa mga public hospitals," he added.

Go also emphasized the need to invest in the healthcare system, noting the country's failure to invest in it for decades. "[K]aya tayo nahihirapan ngayon. Kaya kulang ang mga ospital, mga kama at equipment dahil hindi natin ginastusan agad ang health system natin."

"I am glad that we are taking the right steps so that we can be better prepared for any future pandemics that may come. Basta kapakanan ng mahihirap, ipaglalaban ko po kayo," said Go.

"Matagal na po nating narinig, noon pa man, para kay Bong Go, walang tulog ang serbisyo. Isa lang ang bisyo - ang magserbisyo," he concluded.

The approved measures include bills increasing the bed capacity of Lying-in Clinic in Rizal, Palawan; Naguilian District Hospital in Naguilian, La Union; Rosario District Hospital in Rosario, La Union; Sinait District Hospital in Sinait, Ilocos Sur; East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City; and the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro, Sr. Medical Center in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental.

Other bills that passed the Senate plenary include measures establishing the Bacolod City General Hospital in Bacolod, Negros Occidental; Eastern Pangasinan Regional Medical and Trauma Center in Rosales, Pangasinan; Davao Occidental General Hospital in Malita, Davao Occidental; and the Neptali Gonzales Hospital in Mandaluyong City.

Bills converting the Medina Extension Hospital in Medina, Misamis Oriental into a general hospital; and the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital into the Governor Benjamin T. Romualdez General Hospital in Palo, Leyte were also approved by the Senate.

Finally, another bill increasing the bed capacity of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City also hurdled the third and final reading.

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