The recent enactment of Republic Act 11478, the new law doubling the bed capacity of Bicol Medical Center (BMC) from 500 to 1,000, would help the region in its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response, Senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan said today.
“This is a timely and welcome intervention, especially now that we are still battling a pandemic, Pangilinan said, adding that it took 21 years for the bed capacity of BMC to be increased.
‘’Ngayon, mas marami na tayong mga kababayan ang mase-serbisyuhan dahil sa bagong batas na ito,” he said. (Now, there would be many of our countrymen who would be helped by this new law.)
Pangilinan, who filed Senate Bill 640, or an “An Act Increasing the Bed Capacity of Bicol Medical Center” on July 22, 2019, is the principal author. Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ Go is principal sponsor.
The counterpart bill in the House of Representatives was authored by Representative Gabriel Bordado, Jr. (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. (In 1998, the bed capacity of BMC was 500. Last year, the number of those needing hospital care was 850. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a pressing need to increase the bed capacity of BMC to 1,000.)
“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 Congressman Gabby Bordado for his hard work. We regularly work with his office in pursuit of legislation that will help our kababayans (countrymen) 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 (RITM), the primary government testing facility.
As of July 9, Bicol Region has a total of 240 recorded COVID-19 cases, 154 of which are active cases.