Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, joined President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañang Palace on Thursday, June 24, as the latter signed 13 measures that will improve the capacity of various hospitals to provide quality care and services especially amid an ongoing global health crisis.
As committee chair, Go sponsored the bills in the Senate the previous month. During his sponsorship in the plenary, he stated, “hindi ako titigil na ipaglaban kung ano ang makakabuti sa ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na sa mga mahihirap nating mga kapatid. Kahit na anong hirap ang pagdaanan ko, basta kapakanan nila, ipaglalaban ko ito”.
The signed laws include measures that will establish new medical facilities, increase the bed capacities and upgrade the capabilities of select hospitals in various provinces throughout the country. They are:
- Republic Act (RA) No. 11559, otherwise known as An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Naguilian District Hospital in the Municipality of Naguilan, Province of La Union;
- R.A. No. 11562 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Rosario District Hospital in the Municipality of Rosario, Province of La Union;
- R.A. No. 11560 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Sinait District Hospital in Sinait, Ilocos Sur;
- R.A. No. 11564 or An Act Establishing a General Hospital in the City of Bacolod, Province of Negros Occidental to be known as the Bacolod City General Hospital;
- R.A. No. 11563 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center in the Province of Misamis Occidental;
- R.A. No. 11565 or An Act Converting the Medina Extension Hospital in the Municipality of Medina, Province of Misamis Oriental into a General Hospital to be known as the First Misamis Oriental General Hospital;
- R.A. No. 11566 or An Act Converting the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital in Palo, Leyte into a General Hospital to be known as the Governor Benjamin T. Romualdez General Hospital and Schistosomiasis Center;
- R.A. No. 11567 or An Act Renaming the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in the City of Tacloban, Province of Leyte into the Eastern Visayas Medical Center;
- R.A. No. 11568 or An Act Establishing a General Hospital in Barangay Lacaron, in the Municipality of Malita, Province of Davao Occidental to be known as the Davao Occidental General Hospital;
- R.A. No. 11558 or An Act Establishing a General Hospital in the Municipality of Rosales, Province of Pangasinan to be known as the Conrado F. Estrella Regional Medical and Trauma Center;
- R.A. No. 11561 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the East Avenue Medical Center in Brgy. Diliman, Quezon City;
- R.A. No. 11557 or An Act Establishing a 300-bed Capacity Tertiary Training and General Hospital in Barangay Mauway, City of Mandaluyong to be known as the Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales General Hospital; and
- R.A. No. 11556 or An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of the lying-in clinic in the Municipality of Rizal, Province of Palawan.
In a speech delivered during the signing ceremony, President Duterte congratulated both Houses of Congress for the passage of the measures. He assured the medical community that his administration would continue to work with legislators and other stakeholders to address their concerns and equip them with their needs to fulfill their duty.
“Thirteen of these laws are health-related and are very crucial in strengthening the capacity of our health care system as we continue to overcome the current pandemic,” said Duterte.
“Indeed, the establishment of new (hospitals) would make quality medical services more accessible to our people, especially those in far-flung areas. Increasing the bed capacities of our existing public hospitals will likewise augment our inventory of hospital beds that we badly need as we deal with the pandemic,” the President continued.
During the ceremony, the President also signed other measures that Go supported, namely bills that seek to convert the Basilan State College into the Basilan State University, reapportion Bataan province into three legislative districts, and renew the franchise of the Baycomms Broadcasting Corporation which Go also co-sponsored.