PASAY CITY -- As the Senate regular session resumed on Monday, May 23, Senate Health Committee Chair Christopher “Bong” Go sponsored local hospital measures aimed at upgrading and establishing public hospitals in various parts of the country.
In his sponsorship speech, Go highlighted the country's improving COVID-19 situation and thanked the Filipino people and healthcare workers for their continuing cooperation and bayanihan.
“Una po sa lahat, natutuwa po ako sa patuloy na pag-improve ng ating COVID-19 situation. Nasa minimal risk case classification na po ang karamihan sa mga rehiyon. Majority din sa mga siyudad at bayan sa bansa ay nasa Alert Level 1 na,” said Go.
He continued, “Lahat po ito ay naging posible dahil sa patuloy na kooperasyon ng ating mga kababayan. At syempre, malaki rin po ang pasasalamat natin sa ating healthcare workers na mga frontliners natin sa laban na ito. Maraming salamat po sa inyo.”
The senator then stressed the need to continue building on this progress, saying, “Huwag natin sayangin ang pagsisikap at sakripisyo ng ating mga kawani sa gobyerno, healthcare workers, frontliners at higit sa lahat ang kooperasyon at disiplina ng bawat Pilipino.”
To contribute to the further strengthening of the healthcare system, Go sponsored bills that seek to upgrade existing Department of Health and local government unit hospitals, and measures establishing new ones.
Among the bills upgrading government health facilities sponsored by Go during the session include increasing the bed capacity of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center in Baguio City; Ospital ng Palawan in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte; Gov. Faustino N. Dy, Sr. Memorial Hospital in Ilagan City, Isabela; Concepcion District Hospital in Concepcion, Tarlac; Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, Negros Occidental; Unayan Municipal Hospital in Binidayan, Lanao del Sur; Balindong District Hospital in Wato-Balindong, Lanao del Sur; Eastern Pangasinan District Hospital in Tayug, Pangasinan; Laurel Memorial District Hospital in Tanauan City, Batangas; Ilocos Sur District Hospital in Magsingal, Ilocos Sur; Mangatarem District Hospital in Mangatarem, Pangasinan; Congressman Natalio O. Castillo, Sr. Memorial Hospital in Loon, Bohol; Roxas District Hospital in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro; Dr. Serapio B. Montaner, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Malabang, Lanao del Sur; Martin Marasigan Memorial Hospital in Cuenca, Batangas; Lingayen District Hospital in Lingayen, Pangasinan; and Samar Provincial Hospital in Catbalogan City, Samar.
He also sponsored a measure converting the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City, Bohol to the Governor Celestino Gallares Multi-Specialty Medical Complex; and the Oriental Mindoro Central District Hospital in Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro into a provincial hospital.
The senator also sponsored bills upgrading the Lipa City District Hospital in Lipa City, Batangas into a Level II Hospital; Orani District Hospital in Orani, Bataan into a Level II General Hospital to be known as the Antonino “Tony” P. Roman Memorial Hospital; and the Novaliches District Hospital in Quezon City into a Level II Hospital.
Meanwhile, Go also sponsored bills establishing more and improved government hospitals, such as Ospital ng Meycauayan in Meycauayan, Bulacan; Iloilo City Hospital in Iloilo City; Liloan Children’s Hospital in Liloan, Cebu; Aklan Geriatric Medical Center in Kalibo, Aklan; Isaac Tolentino Memorial Medical Center in Tagaytay City, Cavite; Panabo City District Hospital in Panabo City, Davao del Norte; Lamidan Community Hospital in Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental; and the Nuing Community Hospital in Abad Santos, Davao Occidental.
Go has been adamant on the importance of enhancing healthcare in communities, stressing that they do not only boost the capacities and capabilities of health facilities, but also provide better access to government services throughout the country.
"Improving health capacity and upgrading the capability of hospitals in the provinces would help enhance the health and overall well-being for the entire Philippine population," the senator noted in his previous statements.
Go has so far sponsored 39 laws aimed at upgrading existing government hospitals and establishing new ones.
In 2019, Go has also authored and sponsored the Malasakit Centers Act. The law aims to make all existing government medical assistance programs more accessible by putting together the concerned agencies under one roof, such as the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Under the Act, all hospitals managed by the DOH and the Philippine General Hospital are mandated to open their own Malasakit Centers. Hospitals run by local government units and other public hospitals may also establish their own centers provided that they meet a standard set of criteria and guarantee the sustainability of their operations.
“Bilang Chair ng Senate Committee on Health, sisiguraduhin natin na patuloy ang pagbubukas ng Malasakit Centers sa iba’t ibang parte ng bansa upang mailapit sa tao ang ginhawa ng serbisyong dapat nilang makuha,” the senator added. (OSBG)