Senate body okays BeGH re-nationalization bill

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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 Go Yap disclosed that the Senate committee on health chaired by Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go approved a pending bill for the re-nationalization of the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) and increasing its current 200-bed capacity to 400.

Yap, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations and author of House Bill (HB) 6171 that seeks to re-nationalize BeGH, said that the counterpart bill in the Senate is just awaiting plenary deliberations before being scheduled for second and third readings as the same was already passed upon by the Sente committee on health.

He expressed optimism, in his recent facebook live pep talk with the people of Benguet, that the Senate will be able to approve the counterpart bill the soonest so that the proposed law could be elevated to the Office of the President for the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte so that the budget of the hospital will be included in the proposed annual budget of the national government next year.

With the re-nationalization of BeGH, the lawmaker assured that there will be high impact projects that will be implemented in the hospital compound that will allow the same to accommodate the increase in bed capacity aside from the standardization of the salaries of the health personnel administering, managing and operating the hospital as the same will be lodged with the budget that will be provided to the health department.

Congressman Yap pointed out that the re-nationalization of BeGH will help ease the burden from the provincial government so that its annual appropriations amounting to P300 to P400 million could be used by the province to find the implementation of other high impact development projects in the different barangays and municipalities.

According to him, once under the administration of the health department, BeGH will be able to be provided with more funding support through his representation to improve the state of the hospital and enhance the delivery of basic services where most of the people of Benguet will benefit from.

Congressman Yap filed the bill that seeks to re-nationalize BeGH early this year and was immediately included in the calendar of the House Committee on Health in a matter of two months that saw its passage on third reading before Congress wen on adjournment last June.

The bill was immediately transmitted to the Senate for the passage of the required counterpart bill before being transmitted to the Office of the President for signature and to be implemented next year.

Earlier, Yap bankrolled the construction and the provision of the required units of equipment for the upcoming operation of the province’s molecular laboratory located within the BeGH compound so that there will be improved testing for the people of Benguet on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to ensure the speedy release of test results coming from the different parts of the province starting in a few weeks’ time.

Photo by Armando M. Bolislis