September 29, 2023

Benguet legislative caretaker Rep. Eric Yap is hopeful President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the bill that would renationalize the Benguet General Hospital by next year.

Yap said the bill, which also seeks to increase its bed capacity from 200 to 400, has hurdled the Senate Committee on Health and Demographychaired by Sen. Bong Go.

Tapos na sa committee niya, kailangan lang niya ng comment ng Department of Health,” Yap said.

He said he had also talked to Senate majority floor leader Sen. Miguel Zubiri to schedule the bill for second or third reading. 

Sana ngayong kapaskuhan mapirmahan na ng Presidente pero baka kapusin so next year ang target ko na mapirmahan ng Presidente pero mapasa  muna sa senado muna,” he said.

The solon said by 2022, he aims to proposed a budget for the hospital as well as a new five-story building that would house new machines such as x-ray and CT scan machines and more bed spaces.

If the bill is approved into law, DOH will be mandated to provide more funds for the hospital for increasing its bed capacity as well as increasing the salary of personnel and other health workers.

Meanwhile, Yap said he is coordinating with the DOH to issue a license to operate for the Benguet molecular laboratory located within the hospital compound.

He said the laboratory is seen to fully operate by January of next year.

Earlier, Gov. Melchor Diclas said they plan to conduct a dry run this month to ensure the smooth implementation of the molecular laboratory.

Diclas said he has signed the necessary purchase orders for the additional machines for the laboratory, which needed time to be prepared and properly evaluated by the DOH.

He said the laboratory would help in boosting the Covid-19 testing capability of the Cordillera.

The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center currently serves as the primary testing laboratory that caters for patients from northern Luzon. – Ofelia C. Empian