The “Bayanihan” laws did not include funds for a new infectious diseases hospital

CLAIM: Vice-presidential candidate Willie Ong says money for the construction of an infectious diseases hospital was not included in the “Bayanihan” laws.


During CNN Philippines’ vice-presidential debate on Feb. 26, Willie Ong, a cardiologist, lamented how lawmakers did not allot money to build an infectious diseases hospital in the Bayanihan laws, the country’s Covid-19 economic stimulus.

“Salamat kay Sen. Kiko (Francis Pangilinan), Tito Sen (Senate President Vicente Sotto III) na naipasa nila yung Bayanihan, kaya lang bakit hindi nagtayo ng hospital,” Ong said. 

“Sana nagtayo tayo ng infectious disease hospital, para hindi nailagay ang Covid patients sa PGH (Philippine General Hospital), kasi nagrereklamo ang mga doctors kasi nadi-displace `yung mga cancer patients, kaya maraming namatay sa atin noong 2021. Kung magkaroon ng separate hindi na mao-over burden ang mga hospitals kasi nagkakahawaan e,” he added.

Sotto, one of the principal sponsors of Bayanihan 1, rebutted this, saying the measure focused on addressing the loss of jobs caused by the pandemic.

The breakdown of the government’s expenditures for the Bayanihan laws can be viewed here.

The document, which contains budget utilization reports as of Sept. 30, 2021, showed there was no allotment to build infectious diseases hospitals, although there were budget allocations for Covid-19 treatment, monitoring, and quarantine sites.

Manila, the jurisdiction of Ong’s running mate Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, hosts San Lazaro Hospital, a “special national hospital medical center for infectious diseases,” with a bed capacity of 500. It was not constructed amid the pandemic, however. Sam Magbuhat and Jamilah Mae Angco


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