Home Finance Senator Bong Go Supports Government’s Healthcare Investment Drive

Senator Bong Go Supports Government’s Healthcare Investment Drive

Bong Go lauds pursuit for 179 Regional Specialty Centers

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded the government’s pursuit for more investments in healthcare as mentioned by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., which include the creation of 179 Regional Specialty Centers and the renovation of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) Annex building in Quezon City by 2028.

Go is the principal sponsor and is one of the authors of the Republic Act No. 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, which was signed into law on August 24. The law mandates the establishment of regional specialty centers within existing Department of Health (DOH) regional hospitals.

“Ang RA 11959 o ang Regional Specialty Centers Act na ating inisponsor at iniakda kasama si Senate President Migz Zubiri at iba pa naming kasamahan sa Senado ay isang malaking tagumpay sa ating adhikain na maihatid ang de-kalidad na serbisyong medikal sa ating mga kababayan maging sa malalayong komunidad—lalo na sa mahihirap, hopeless, helpless at walang malalapitan maliban sa pamahalaan,” Go cited.

“Bilang principal sponsor, ako po ang nag-defend nito sa Senado. Nakakuha tayo ng boto na 24-0 sa Senado dahil sang-ayon din po ang ating mga kasamahan na makabubuti po ito para sa lahat, at makatutulong sa mga mahihirap,” he added.

During the launch of the Lung Transplant Program of the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) and the NKTI, President Marcos Jr. highlighted the critical need for modernization, acknowledging the long-standing delay since the devastating fire in 1998.

“I was a little sad to hear that the damage caused by the fire of ’98 has not yet been completely rehabilitated. I think that’s the first thing that we have to look to,” Marcos stated.

Earlier, the government already established 131 operational Regional Specialty Centers nationwide, with nine dedicated as lung care centers. This strategic development aims to enhance accessibility to specialized healthcare, particularly for those in rural areas.

Supported by a substantial allocation of PhP11.12 billion this year, these specialty centers are a testament to the government’s collaborative efforts to enhance Filipinos’ health and well-being, with Go’s continuous support as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and vice-chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance.

“Mahalaga ang mabilis na pag-aksyon para sa rehabilitasyon ng NKTI at pagtataguyod ng mga bagong Regional Specialty Centers. Ito ay magbibigay daan sa mas mataas na kalidad ng pangangalagang pangkalusugan para sa ating mga kababayan,” Go said.

“With the President’s dedication and our joint efforts in the legislature, we look forward to an improved Philippine healthcare system. The reconstruction of NKTI’s annex and establishing these specialty centers will become crucial in promoting the health and well-being for our people,” he added.

The government has also launched the five-year LCP-NKTI Lung Transplant Program, addressing challenges such as inadequate infrastructure and a more efficient organ donation system.

This initiative is part of a broader effort to enhance the infrastructure capacity of the LCP, with significant funding from the 2024 General Appropriations Act and private sector contributions.

Among the programs this year advocated by Go, together with fellow senators led by Senate Finance Committee Chair Sonny Angara and Senior Vice Chair Pia Cayetano, include the Lung Transplant Program, Screening for Early Lung Cancer Detection and Treatment Program, and the Biobanking for Pulmonary Diseases Project.

During the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte, Go also advocated for additional funding for LCP for its facilities, equipment enhancements and additional medical assistance for patients.

According to DOH’s timeline, the establishment of specialty centers in the National Capital Region will take place in Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Tondo Medical Center, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Valenzuela Medical Center, Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center, Rizal Medical Center, and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium.

In other parts of Luzon, specialty centers will be established in Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Region I Medical Center, Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Cagayan Valley Medical Center, Region II Trauma and Medical Center, Southern Isabela Medical Center, Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center, Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital, Batangas Medical Center, Ospital ng Palawan, Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, Bicol Medical Center, Bicol Region General Hospital, Geriatric Medical Center, Bicol Medical Center, and Bicol Regional Hospital and Medical Center.

The Visayas region will have more specialty centers in Western Visayas Medical Center, Western Visayas Sanitarium and General Hospital, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Medical Center, and Eastern Visayas Medical Center.

In Mindanao, specialty centers will also be established in Zamboanga City Medical Center, Northern Mindanao Medical Center, Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao Regional Medical Center, Cotabato Regional and Medical Center, Caraga Regional Hospital, Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center, and Amai Pakpak Medical Center.