Bong Go reiterates appeal for more modular hospitals and ICU beds to treat severe COVID-19 patients

Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated his appeal to concerned agencies to fast track the expansion and construction of additional modular hospitals equipped with COVID-19 isolation facilities and intensive care unit beds in order to address the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, especially in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

“Huwag nating hintayin na nag-aagaw buhay na sa labas ng mga ospital ang ating mga kababayang may sakit. Gawin natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya para sagipin at gamutin sila,” began Go.

“I laud the continuing efforts of the government to provide more isolation facilities for people with mild and moderate COVID-19 cases; however, the need for more facilities that can handle severe and critical conditions must also be considered,” he stressed.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘Talk to the People’ public address on Monday, April 12, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. disclosed that the country is in need of 2,000 additional ICU beds to respond to the outbreak. Metro Manila hospitals altogether have 1,395 ICU beds at present.

To meet the demand, the government initiated several expansion projects with the aim of generating an additional 1,045 ICU beds for critical cases and 1,178 beds for moderate and severe cases. The projects include:

– 110 additional beds in Quezon Institute (moderate and severe);

– 960 beds from the National Center for Mental Health (moderate);

– 300 beds from the Manila Times College in Subic (mild and asymptomatic);

– 166 additional beds in New Clark City, Tarlac (mild and asymptomatic);

– 200 beds in Eva Macapagal Terminal in Manila (mild and asymptomatic);

– 100 beds in Orion, Bataan Port Terminal (mild and symptomatic);

– 280 hotel beds from Oplan Kalinga for the Philippine General Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Lung Center of the Philippines;

– 20 dialysis beds in National Kidney and Transplant Institute; and

– 88 beds in the modular hospital at LCP.

To further boost the healthcare system’s capacity, Senator Go urged the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to expedite its payments and settle its obligations to hospitals to ensure the unhampered provision of medical services. Both private and public hospitals in the NCR Plus area have committed to use the funds to purchase more new ICU beds.

“Ito pong pagdagdag ng mga ICU beds ng mga private hospitals and the LGU hospitals ay puwede naman po nilang gamitin ‘yong reimbursements from PhilHealth kaya malaki pong tulong ang … naging desisyon na magbayad kaagad ang PhilHealth, initially 60 percent ng kanilang outstanding claims starting March 2020 to April 2021,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said during the President’s address.

SBG calls on gov’t for more Covid-19 isolation tents and ICU beds

As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, I appeal to concerned agencies, with the help of the private sector, to expedite the construction and expansion of more modular facilities and tents equipped with COVID-19 isolation and ICU beds to cater particularly to those with severe conditions.

I laud the continuing efforts of the government to provide more isolation facilities for people with mild and moderate COVID-19 cases; however, the need for more facilities that can handle severe and critical conditions must also be considered.

In order to maximize our resources, I urge the government to identify locations where we can install these modular facilities and tents equipped with ICU beds, or existing structures that can be transformed into temporary health facilities to accommodate severe COVID-19 cases.

We need to double our efforts in order to reduce further the waiting time for patients needing urgent treatment or admission, provide faster medical transport and patient pick-up, and facilitate much improved use of critical care services in our health facilities.

Nakakaawa po ‘yung mga kababayan nating naghihingalo na tapos wala pang mahanap na ospital. Buhay po ang nakasalalay sa bawat minutong pag-aantay makakuha lang ng ospital, kama, at doktor para maalagaan sila.

Huwag nating hintayin na nag-aagaw buhay na sa labas ng mga ospital ang ating mga kababayang may sakit. Gawin natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya para sagipin at gamutin sila.

Moreover, we also need to augment our medical frontliners, particularly in critical areas where a significant number of them have been overburdened or, worse, also infected with COVID-19.

I laud the bayanihan efforts of nurses in the Visayas who expressed willingness to be deployed to the ‘NCR Plus’ areas. Patunay lamang po ito na sa kabila ng pandemya, malakas pa rin ang diwa ng bayanihan sa bansa.

I appeal to our health workers in other parts of the country with lower COVID-19 cases to also be ready to extend help in critical areas. In these trying times, we need a whole-of-nation approach to fully overcome this pandemic.

Bawat isa sa atin ay may tungkulin sa kapwa, sa ating komunidad, at sa ating bayan. Lahat tayo ay dapat maging bahagi ng solusyon. Laging tandaan na ang ating kooperasyon, bayanihan, at malasakit sa kapwa ay makapagliligtas ng buhay ng kapwa nating Pilipino!

First Congressional District Office distributes relief assistance to Bankerohan fire victims

DAVAO CITY – The office of the First Congressional District Representative Paolo Z. Duterte distributed on Sunday morning cash aid and rice packs to 84 people affected by a fire incident in Barangay 5-A Pag-asa in Bankerohan of this city.

Each recipient – composed of house owners, sharers, boarders, and renter – received a cash assistance and 10 kilos sack of rice from Rep. Duterte’s office. The distribution was held at Everly Homes, Don Isidro Village, Barangay 5-A around 1:30 p.m.

In the initial report from Davao City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), 350 families and 28 individuals are affected by the incident, of which 26 are house owners, 15 are sharers, 23 are renters, and 20 are boarders.

The fire gutted down 13 houses and partially damaged 15 other houses at Purok 5-A Pag-asa on April 1, Thursday, at 11:20 p.m. leaving the victims homeless. All victims are temporarily sheltered at a gymnasium in Bankerohan.

Davao Fire District Intelligence and Investigation Office head SFO4 Ramil Gillado said that the fire started at the house of a certain Ramon John Solite. He added that the fire occurred at the first floor of the two-storey house.

Investigation revealed that the ceiling was made of a plywood and was installed with lots of electrical wiring. The firefighters controlled the fire around 1:15 a.m. Damage to property was estimated at P500,000.

Barangay 5-A chief Edgar Ibuyan Jr. expressed his gratitude to the First Congressional District Office, especially to Rep. Duterte, for the help they had given to the affected families.

The district office has been giving food packs not only to its constituents, but also to other areas of Davao where people are in need of immediate assistance even amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Bong Go welcomes PRRD’s approval of Supplemental Amelioration Program

Urges agencies and LGUs to ensure this benefits those who need gov’t aid the most

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for heeding his earlier appeal to provide additional assistance to poor Filipinos through an expanded Supplemental Amelioration Program as this is a welcomed step towards aiding our needy kababayans.

This comes after the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region Plus bubble due to the rapidly rising cases of new COVID-19 infections in the area.

Go thanked Duterte for responding affirmatively to his request to help the poor tide over the new lockdown, saying, “Nagpapasalamat ako kay Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang pagtugon sa ating panawagan na magbigay ng agarang ayuda para sa mga mahihirap na apektado ng ECQ sa NCR, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite at Laguna.”

“Nagpapasalamat rin ako kila Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez at Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, sa kanilang patuloy na pagmamalasakit at palaging pagdinig sa hinaing ng taumbayan,” Go said.

The Senator said that Duterte’s decision is a testament to the President’s compassion and willingness to listen to the concerns of his people.

“Dahil dito, higit kumulang 22.9 milyong mahihirap na katao na bumubuo ng 80 porsyento ng populasyon ng NCR at mga probinsya ng Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite at Laguna na naka-ECQ ngayon ang mabibigyan ng ayuda,” Go said.

During the President’s weekly Talk to the People address on Monday night, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said that an estimated 22.9 million low income individuals in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are set to benefit from the newly approved amelioration assistance.

Each individual belonging to the 80% low-income population of the affected area will be provided with PhP1,000 worth of assistance, with a maximum of PhP4,000 per family.

The PhP22.9-billion funding requirement is chargeable against the available funds under Republic Act No. 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

“Habang limitado ang galaw ng mga tao para maiwasan ang pagkalat ng sakit, limitado rin ang kita at pagkain ng kanilang pamilya. Huwag na nating hayaan na madagdagan pa ang bilang ng nagugutom,” he said.

After the approval of the President, Go urged implementing agencies to fast-track the distribution of the assistance with the help of local government units to ensure that those who need government aid the most benefit from this program.

“Aprubado na ito ng Pangulo kung kaya’t dapat na bilisan na natin ang pagbigay ng ayuda para makarating agad ang tulong ng gobyerno sa mga dapat makatanggap nito,” asked Go.

“Sa tulong din ng mga LGUs, dapat mailatag na ang proseso kung paano ito maipapamahagi sa bawat kwalipikadong indibidwal sa paraang maayos, mabilis, at walang bahid ng pulitika o korapsyon,” he added.

He also asked the public to continue to cooperate with authorities, remain vigilant, and strictly follow health protocols to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“Sa mga kapwa kong Pilipino, konting tiis lang po. Ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat para mapagaan ang hirap na pinapasan ng buong sambayanan,” Go urged.

“Magbayanihan po tayo para malampasan ang mga pagsubok na ito,” he concluded.

In his appeal for assistance for poor Filipinos amid the stricter quarantine restrictions in critical areas particularly in NCR and neighboring provinces, Go asked the government to also address hunger and poverty while Filipinos are forced to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Gawin natin ang lahat sa abot ng ating makakaya na makapag-abot ng tulong sa lahat ng nangangailangan para walang magutom. Habang pinipilit natin silang manatili sa kanilang mga pamamahay, siguraduhin din dapat natin na mayroong laman ang kanilang tiyan at may tulong tayong maiaabot sa kanila,” he said.

“Kung anumang kabutihan na pwede natin gawin ay gawin na natin ngayon. Huwag po natin ipagkait sa mga kababayan natin ang anumang tulong na pwede natin maibigay sa kanila. Umaksyon na tayo agad,” he ended.