MANILA – A measure authorizing the construction of a ‘Bantay Antayan” building in front of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Emergency Room (ER) complex has hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives this week.
The House Committee on Health approved House Bill 1844, which seeks to allow the construction of the ‘Bantay Antayan” building for the use of relatives, friends and “bantays” of the patients being treated in the ER.
Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez, author of the bill, said that the PGH does not have enough room to allow the “bantays” or watchers to stay in the ER.
Aside from this, Rodriguez said the watchers may just get in the way of the doctors.
“These bantays are already suffering and stressed enough as it is while waiting. Making them stand outside the ER waiting and at the mercy of the weather conditions simply aggravate their situation,” Rodriguez said. “It is therefore important that a Bantay Antayan, similar to the one in front of the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, be constructed.”
Rodriguez said the Bantay Antayan is where the patients’ companions can wait and easily be found by the doctors when the need arises.
The PGH is the largest government hospital administered by the University of the Philippines (UP) and is designated as the National University Hospital.
During the hearing, the UP-PGH Director Dr. Gap Legaspi said that they are creating a “Bantay Antayan” area as part of a 20-year masterplan.
Legaspi said the masterplan provides for the construction of a 15- story multi-specialty building beside the ER.
He noted that this is where watchers are envisioned to be waiting for instructions about their relatives and other information.
He said the intent of HB 1844 is timely as it supports the goals of the UP-PGH.
The committee approved the proposed PHP200-million appropriation funding for the Bantay Antayan bill. (PNA)