MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday submitted his first report to Congress in compliance with Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) that lays down the recent developments made by the national government relative to its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.
Bayanihan 2, a continuation of the programs under Bayanihan 1 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, seeks to provide a PHP165.5 billion fund, including PHP140 billion in regular appropriation, with PHP25.5 billion in standby funds to fund the provisions of the proposed law.
Duterte signed Bayanihan 2 on Sept. 11 in to help gradually reopen the economy and support businesses.
“It has been six months from the declaration of the state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines. Through the joint efforts of the government and the public, significant strides have been achieved in enhancing and improving the country’s capability to implement measures against the spread of Covid-19,” Duterte said in the 21-page report.
Through Bayanihan 2, Duterte vowed to sustain and enhance efforts and strengthen the government’s capabilities to implement programs and projects to reduce the adverse socioeconomic impact of Covid-19, enhance the capacity of the Philippine healthcare system to control and eliminate Covid-19, accelerate the recovery and bolster the resilience of the Philippine economy, and enhance fiscal and monetary policies to sustain Covid-19 measures.
As part of efforts to enhance the healthcare system capacity to control and eliminate Covid-19, the Department of Health (DOH) continues to hire additional human resources for health (HRHs).
From Sept. 11 to 30, a total of 8,980 HRHs were hired; a total of 10,673 nurses were deployed in primary care facilities to participate in hospital-based and community-based responses, while other deployed HRHs are currently engaged in Covid-19 response.
There are currently 32 Covid referral hospitals and 1,874 Covid accepting hospitals among other DOH, public and private hospitals in the country.
According to the DOH, a total of 21,968 beds or 20 percent of the total authorized bed capacity in the country are dedicated for Covid-19.
Likewise, the Department of Public Works and Highways together with other agencies and local government units (LGUs) continue to establish new and manage existing temporary quarantine facilities, treatment centers/hospitals, and facilities for medical personnel.
There are 138 Covid-19 testing laboratories in the Philippines with every region having a licensed Covid-19 testing laboratory as of Sept. 30.
As for clinical trials, DOH said the country has 17 bilateral partners and has expressed its interest to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial for vaccines and the Covax Facility.
To strengthen contact tracing, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has hired an additional 9,557 contract tracers nationwide.
As of Monday, the country has a total of 324,762 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 273,123 recoveries and 5,480 deaths. (PNA)