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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Solons hail House Speaker’s leadership in Congress

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The House of Representatives has always provided the needed budgetary support for the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in every aspect, including personnel salaries and benefits, operational support, infrastructure requirements, and even funding for medical aid for indigent patients.

Deputy Majority Leaders Janette Garin and Erwin Tulfo both acknowledged the support of the House, under the leadership of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, to the health program of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., including the country’s biggest public medical institution.

Garin said she remembers during the deliberation of the 2023 PGH budget, as vice chair of the Committee on Appropriations, much discussion was made on improving the infrastructure of the said medical institutions by converting its buildings into high-rises.

“Patuloy na tinutulungan ng Kongreso yung PGH. Nung 2023 dahil sa kumpas nga ni Speaker Martin Romualdez, ang sabi nya, bawat buhay mahalaga, dapat tutukan ang kalusugan. Nagpa-soil test nga para i-transform into high rise buildings ‘yung mga bagong ilalagay doon para ma maximize ‘yung space (ng PGH),” Garin said.

(Congress continues to help the PGH. In 2023 because of the directive of Speaker Martin Romualdez, he said, every life is important, we should focus on health. A soil test was done to transform the new ones to be placed there into high rise buildings in order to maximize the space [of PGH]). The PGH was struck recently by fire in its main building a couple of days ago.

Garin then enumerated the budgetary support for PGH for the years 2023 and 2024. For 2023, Garin noted, Congress has allotted a total of P7.57 billion for PGH broken down as follows: P2.79 billion for personnel services, P2.62 billion for maintenance and operating expenses, and P1.2 billion for capital outlay.

This includes P126.9 million for the hazard pay for healthcare workers, P828.27 million for medical assistance for indigent patients, and for the repair and rehabilitation of buildings, including multispecialty structures.

For 2024, Congress has allotted a total of P7.04 billion for PGH, broken down as follows: P2.89 billion for personnel services, P2.07 billion for MOOE, and P1 billion for capital outlay.

This includes P77.7 million in personnel benefits, P633.9 million in MAIP and funds for the Child Protection Unit, renovation of the natal ICU, and fire suppression and detection system.

“And yung sa fire suppression and detection system, binigyan sila ng P10 million na MOOE pero meron dun kaakibat na P250 million na capital outlay.  Iyan po ang inallocate ng Kongreso, though our leaders, para sa Philippine General Hospital,” Garin said.

(And for the fire suppression and detection system, they were given a P10 million MOOE but there is a P250 million capital outlay. That’s what Congress allocated, though our leaders, for the Philippine General Hospital)

Tulfo said that although Congress has allocated the necessary funding to improve the facilities of PGH, he bared that the congestion in the medical facility makes it hard to initiate the necessary construction.

Meanwhile, Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Ray Reyes said that in the spirit of congressional support to the healthcare priorities of the Marcos administration, the House Committee on Health approved the establishment of a Philippine Liver Center, another specialty hospital.

He said that much like the Philippine Cancer Center that recently held its groundbreaking ceremony through funding allocated by Congress, he said that the Liver Center aims to add to the list of specialty hospitals now operating in the country.

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