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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet Caretaker Congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap announced that the proposed bill seeking for the re-nationalization of the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) and increasing its existing 200-bed capacity to 400 is ready for second and third readings in the Senate.
Yap, who graced the recent inauguration of the new isolation facility that was constructed within the BeGH compound, stated that the people of the province seeking medical attention from the health facility will likely benefit from the expected improvement of the hospital, the increase in manpower and the provision of new structures that will accommodate other services that will be offered once its management, administration and operation will be returned to the health department.
However, he said that one of the conditions of the BeGH re-nationalization is that there will be a 5-year transition where the provincial government will have to continue funding the operation of the hospital while the national government will bankroll the put up of additional structures and provide for the needed equipment to be used in the increase in the services to be offered by the health facility.
Congressman Yap pointed out that once the health facility will be returned to the administration of the health department, the provincial government will be able to maximize the use of the funds that will be saved to fund the implementation of various high impact development projects in the different municipalities and enhance the delivery of basic services to the people.
The Benguet caretaker congressman disclosed that he was assured by Senate Majority Floor Leader Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri that the counterpart bill in the Senate of the BeGH renationalization measure that emanated from the House of Representatives will be calendared for second and third readings soonest so that it will be submitted to the Office of the President for its signing into law.
House Bill (HB) 6171 that seeks to re-nationalize BeGH was among the first local bills that was filed by Congressman yap after he was appointed by former House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano as the province’s caretaker congressman following the untimely demise of the late Rep. Nestor Fongwan, Sr. last December 18, 2019 due to a lingering illness.
At present, BeGH is managed and operated by the provincial government where funds for its continuous operation is being provided by the local government.
Congressman Yap stipulated that he will continue to work with the health department for the possible shortening of the proposed 5-year grace period to ensure that the national government through the health department will be able to take over the responsibility of providing the funds for the personal services, maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay of the hospital that will help in easing the burden from the provincial government in having to carry the load of providing the annual funds for the hospital’s continuous operation.
Photo by:Armando M. Bolislis