House budget panel head vows support for Marcos admin’s PH healthcare programs
MANILA, Philippines — House of Representatives committee on appropriations head and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co said his panel would continue to support President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s healthcare vision — which includes the establishment of specialty hospitals across the country.
Co, in a statement, vowed to continue to work with the rest of the Congress under House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez’ leadership to support this vision of establishing legacy specialty hospitals in different parts of the country, like the National Kidney Transplant Institute and Philippine Children’s Medical Center.
“Unlike private hospitals, the government has the ability to establish medical facilities in various regions without the primary concern of generating revenue. This allows us to focus on delivering excellent medical care to our people, irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds,” Co said on Wednesday.
“As chairman of the House committee on appropriations, I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the necessary funding and resources are allocated to support President Bongbong Marcos’ vision. Together with the leadership of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, we will strive to build a healthcare system that provides equitable access to high-quality medical services for every Filipino,” he added.
Co was referring to the specialty hospitals created during the time of Marcos Jr.’s father, his namesake, and former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. The lawmaker said the younger Marcos intends to add his own legacy project — the Philippine Cancer Center — which he vowed to support.
He also assured the public that they would find ways to fund these projects.
“President Marcos Jr. envisions emulating the approach taken by President Marcos Sr. in Metro Manila and replicating it across the entire Philippines, ensuring that government hospitals in every region provide equal access to medical care. Regardless of one’s economic status, every Filipino will witness their taxes working for their well-being,” Co said.
“As the chairman of the House committee on appropriations, I am proud to be part of the collective effort to secure the necessary funding for the revitalization of these crucial healthcare facilities. This demonstrates our commitment to providing quality medical services to the Filipino people,” he added.
After the executive branch submits the National Expenditures Program to Congress, the House Committee on Appropriations deliberates it to ensure that important items are prioritized and get adequate funding from the state. The panel also has the power to alter portions of the proposed budget to where they see it fit.
According to Co, they have allocated at least P500 million for each specialty hospital in the 2023 national budget.
Co also believes that Marcos’ move to enact the Maharlika Investment Fund is a big step towards sustainability and economic progress, as it allows the government to tap funds for projects that will contribute to the country’s development.
“With the establishment of the Maharlika Investment Fund, we are taking a bold step towards our country’s economic transformation,” Co said.
“This sovereign wealth fund will enable us to make strategic investments that will drive sustainable growth and contribute to the overall development of the Philippines,” he added.
The lawmaker stated that the MIF has the potential to create new opportunities and bring progress after the pandemic, by allowing businesses to invest in essential sectors. (With reports from Bea Alicia Delariarte, trainee)