REPUBLIC ACT 11478, the new law doubling the bed capacity of Bicol Medical Center (BMC) from 500 to 1,000, will help the region in its COVID response, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Friday.
“This is a timely and welcome intervention, especially now that we are still battling a pandemic. Dalawampu’t isang taon na na hindi nadagdagan ang bed capacity ng BMC. Ngayon, mas marami na tayong mga kababayan ang mase-serbisyuhan dahil sa bagong batas na ito,” he said.
Pangilinan, who filed Senate Bill 640 or an “An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of Bicol Medical Center” on July 22, 2019, is principal author. Senator Bong Go is principal sponsor.
The counterpart bill in the House of Representatives was authored by Rep. Gabby Bordado (Camarines Sur, 3rd District).
“Taong 1998 pa, 500 ang bed capacity ng BMC. Noong nakaraang taon, nabalita na ang daily average ng nangangailangan ng hospital care mula sa BMC ay umabot ng 850. Para sa ating mga kababayan sa Bicol, mahalagang madagdagan na ang bed capacity ng BMC lalo na ngayong may COVID,” Pangilinan said.
“We’d also like to thank our colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives for the speedy passage of this bill. Special thanks to Cong. Gabby Bordado for his hard work. We regularly work with his office in pursuit of legislation that will help our kababayans in Bicol,” he added.
BMC is one of only two COVID testing facilities in the Bicol Region certified by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the primary government testing facility.
As of July 9, Bicol Region has a total of 240 recorded cases, 154 of which are active cases. (Source: https://www.doh.gov.ph/
The law doubling BMC’s bed capacity is one of Pangilinan’s pet bills that has become law since his fresh Senate term in 2016. The others include the Sagip Saka Law (RA 11321), the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law (RA 11210), the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (RA 10931), and the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act (RA 10929).