Bong Go lauds Senate approval of his bill establishing regional specialty centers
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go thanked 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, marking a significant milestone in enhancing the country’s healthcare system.
In a manifestation on Monday, May 29, Go, as the bill’s sponsor, underscored the crucial role of the Filipino people in shaping public policies, particularly in healthcare. He stated, “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.”
Go further emphasized the power of the people’s voices, affirming, “Today, your voices have been heard. Let us continue to work hand in hand, united in our commitment to the well-being of our community.”
He added, “Ito pong regional specialty centers ay isang paraan para mailapit natin ang serbisyo medikal sa ating mga kababayan lalung-lalo na po yung mga mahihirap”
(These regional specialty centers are a means to bring medical services closer to our fellow Filipinos, especially underprivileged ones).
The proposed bill mandates the Department of Health (DOH) 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 aligns with the Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., which includes establishing 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 authorizes specialty centers to contract medical specialists and experts to provide training and technical assistance.
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, ensuring positions for healthcare workers serving in these facilities.
Go expressed his gratitude to his colleagues for their unwavering support and dedication in bringing the bill to fruition. He said, “This measure is a steadfast commitment and a collective vision to improve our healthcare system. It demonstrates our dedication to delivering efficient specialized healthcare to every Filipino.”
Bong Go also extended his appreciation to the DOH for their support and collaboration in ensuring the passage of this proposed legislation. He said, “(Salamat) sa kanilang suporta at pakikiisa upang maipasa ang panukalang ito sa Senado”
(Thank you for your support and unity in passing this proposed legislation in the Senate).
He added, “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”
(Let us also collaborate to allocate funding for these specialty centers, Mr. President, to ensure proper implementation).
The bill 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