In a significant step towards enhancing the healthcare system in the country, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his gratitude to his fellow lawmakers as his proposed Senate Bill No. 2212, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, passed the third and final reading in the Senate.
In a manifestation on Monday, May 29, Go, as sponsor of the measure, placed significant emphasis on the invaluable role of the Filipino people in shaping public policies especially on the healthcare system, stating, “It is your experiences and stories that have driven us to create a healthcare system that is compassionate, accessible, and designed to meet the needs of every Filipino.”
He further emphasized the impact of the people’s voices, affirming, “Today, your voices have been heard. Let us continue to work hand in hand, united in our commitment for the well-being of our community.”
“Ito pong regional specialty centers ay isang paraan para mailapit natin ang serbisyo medikal sa ating mga kababayan lalong-lalo na po ‘yung mga mahihirap,” he added.
The proposed bill mandates the Department of Health to establish specialty centers in DOH hospitals in every region within five years. This approach leverages the expertise and availability of healthcare professionals already working in these regional hospitals.
The proposal also aligns with the Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., which includes the establishment of specialty centers as part of the health-related legislative agenda.
Particular emphasis will be placed on establishing heart, lung, and kidney centers that replicate the capabilities of the National Specialty Centers in Metro Manila.
To ensure the effectiveness of the specialty centers, the DOH will collaborate with the National Specialty Centers to provide expert personnel, specialized training, and necessary equipment.
The bill also outlines the authorization for specialty centers to contract medical specialists and experts to provide training and technical assistance.
Moreover, if enacted into law, the DOH will be required to allocate capital outlay investments through the Health Facilities Enhancement Program and work closely with the Department of Budget and Management to develop staffing patterns and standards for the specialty centers, securing positions for healthcare workers serving in these facilities.
In his speech, Go also acknowledged and thanked his colleagues for their unwavering support and dedicated efforts in bringing the bill to fruition.
“This measure is a steadfast commitment, and a collective vision to improve our healthcare system. It demonstrates our dedication to delivering efficient specialized health care to every Filipino,” said Go.
The senator likewise extended his appreciation to the DOH for their support and collaboration in ensuring the passage of this proposed legislation.
“(Salamat) sa kanilang suporta at pakikiisa upang maipasa ang panukalang ito sa Senado,” said Go.
“Sana po magtulungan din po tayo na mapondohan ang specialty centers na ito, Mr. President, para masiguro natin na maging maayos po ang implementasyon nito,” he added.
The measure was also authored by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Majority Floor Leader Joel Villanueva, Senators Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Pia Cayetano, Jinggoy Estrada, Imee Marcos, Robin Padilla, Win Gatchalian, Francis Escudero, Ronald dela Rosa, Ramon Revilla Jr., Cynthia Villar and Loren Legarda. It was also co-authored by Senators Francis Tolentino, Raffy Tulfo and all other members of the Senate.
Go highlighted that the Regional Specialty Centers Act is a fulfillment of a campaign promise made by Senate President Zubiri, saying, “Congratulations din po at sana madagdagan ang pondo nito para maparami pa ang specialty centers sa lahat ng rehiyon. Nakasalalay sayo, Mr. President, ang mga karagdagan para dumami pa ang specialty centers sa buong Pilipinas.”
The senator also expressed his gratitude to the senators who supported the bill, including Senators Grace Poe, Alan Peter Cayetano, Nancy Binay, Mark Villar, and Lito Lapid. He also acknowledged the invaluable inputs shared by Senate Minority Floor Leader Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and Senator Risa Hontiveros, emphasizing the collaborative efforts of the Senate in making healthcare services accessible to all Filipinos.