5 additional modular hospitals soon to rise at Lung Center of the Philippines

Marje Pelayo   •   April 26, 2021   •   612

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has started construction activities for the additional five modular hospitals at the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) in Quezon City.

Secretary Mark Villar said the project is part of the efforts of the national government to expand the capacity of major hospitals attending to the needs of COVID-19 positive patients.

The agency said three of five layouts were already established on Saturday (April 24).

According to DPWH Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local and National Health Facilities head Undersecretary Emil Sadain said four typical designs with 88 beds and one intensive care unit (ICU)-type modular hospital with 22 beds, or a total of 110-bed capacity, will be constructed based on the design and build plan agreed between the DPWH and the LCP management.

Once constructed, the facilities will accommodate mild, moderate, and severe cases of COVID-19 in addition to the earlier erected modular facilities within the LCP compound.

Prior to this, eight fully air-conditioned rooms with two beds per room were erected at the LCP premises to accommodate 16 moderate, severe, and critical COVID-19 cases, and 16 rooms with double-decker beds as temporary shelters for health professionals.

Overall, the DPWH has already constructed a number of modular facilities to augment major hospitals’ COVID-19 response which includes:

  • One (1) ICU type with 16 beds at the LCP
  • Four (4) typically designed and one ICU type modular hospital at the Quezon Institute-Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc, in Quezon City with 110 beds
  • One (1) typically designed modular hospital with 22 beds at the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium, in Caloocan City; and
  • One (1) typically designed modular hospital with 21 beds and a 10-bed ICU type modular hospital at the  Batangas Medical Center in Batangas City.

Palace thanks Congress for speedy ratification of 2022 national budget

Robie de Guzman   •   December 16, 2021

Acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday thanked Congress for its efforts to immediately ratify the proposed P5 trillion national budget for the year 2022.

“The Palace thanks Congress for working overtime to expeditiously ratify the proposed 2022 National Budget,” acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a statement.

Nograles said next year’s budget vital to the country’s response and recovery efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We consider next year’s budget vital to support our country’s COVID-19 resilience initiatives and to sustain our socioeconomic recovery efforts,” he said.

The Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday ratified the bicameral committee report on the proposed 2022 budget.

The country’s budget for next year will have as much as P50 billion for special risk allowances for medical frontliners, almost P48 billion for COVID-19 booster shots, and P15 billion to P16 billion for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), based on portions approved by he House.

The measure will now be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for his approval and signature.

“As we await its transmittal to the Office of the President, we reiterate our commitment to utilize our people’s hard-earned money to properly implement programs, projects, and services effectively and efficiently during the remainder of the President’s term of office,” Nograles said.

“We are grateful to our partners in the Legislature for ensuring that the Duterte Administration’s last full-year budget will sustain the legacy of real change for future generations,” he added.

Lawmakers earlier expressed hope that Duterte will sign the measure before the year ends to avoid a reenacted budget.

Congress ratifies Php5.024-T 2022 national budget

Maris Federez   •   December 15, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives on Wednesday (December 15) approved the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed ₱5.024-trillion national budget for 2022.

With its ratification by both houses of Congress, the bill will then be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law.

Congress will go on session break effective Thursday as lawmakers go on break for the holidays.

A significant portion of the 2022 national budget, the Philippine government’s highest national expenditure plan in history — is allocated to the COVID-19 response and all other programs for economic recovery amid the pandemic.

Senate Committee on Finance chairperson Senator Sonny Angara has earlier said that the approved Bicameral Conference Committee report has adjusted the budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Lawmakers restored the NTF ELCAC’s budget to the 16 or 16.5 billion-peso level.

Around 20 to 30 billion pesos were also added to the budget of the DOH.

“Tapos sa DOLE naglagay rin tayo ng testing for yung  naghahanap ng trabaho. Nakatutok na rin tayo sa economic recovery natin,” Angara said.

The Bicam report also included in the budget funding for COVID-19 vaccines estimated at 45 to 50 billion pesos as part of the government’s efforts in fighting the deadly disease as the country is gradually opening its economy. —/mbmf

House solons want Bicam to prioritize COVID-19 response budget in deliberation

Maris Federez   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several members of the House of Representatives are hoping that the deliberation in the Bicameral Conference Committee will give priority to the COVID-19 response budget which they are pushing to receive bigger funding.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate said that with the threat posed by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease, the government must set a bigger budget for a pandemic response for 2022.

“Nagluwag, pero eto may pumasok na naman. Itong Omicron variant na hindi pa natin alam kung ano ang magiging extent nung pananalasa nito. Kaya dapat lang talaga yung kalakhan ng budget ay nakatuon duon sa pandemic responses,” said Zarate.

In the Senate’s approved version of the Php5.024-trillion 2022 proposed national budget, the Department of Health budget was increased to Php230.11-billion. This is higher than the approved version of the House which is Php182.67-billion.

Senators realigned the budget of other government agencies to fund the benefits and compensation of healthcare workers.

Zarate said the Bicam must make some more cuts on the budget that the Senate has approved for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) amounting to around Php10-billion from the Php4-billion that the Upper Chamber has initially allotted to the said task force.

Zarate said the budget that is to be slashed from NTF-ELCAC must be added to the funds to be used in the COVID-19 response.

House Committee on Appropriations chairperson Representative Eric Go Yap said that even if there are contradicting provisions in the two versions, they will see to it that the 2022 budget will give weight to the COVID-19 response.

“While there may be conflicting provisions between the two, rest assured that our common end goal is to submit a budget that will sustain our COVID-19 response efforts while supporting our gradual transition to full recovery,” Yap said.

The national budget is targeted to be submitted to the Office of the President before December 25 for President Rodrigo Duterte. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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