Thursday Oct, 06 2022 06:53:37 PM

Prioritize creation, improvement of Tawi-Tawi hospitals — BARMM solon asks colleagues

HEALTH • 22:00 PM Fri Sep 16, 2022
MP Mawallil news release

COTABATO CITY - A member of the Bangsamoro Parliament is calling on the regional legislature to prioritize the passage of four hospital bills that aim to create new hospitals in Tawi-Tawi, as well as upgrade existing medical facilities there expanding their bed capacities and equipment.

“There were a number of hospital bills that were passed into law during the first term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA). Unfortunately, before our first term expired, the hospital bills for the province of Tawi Tawi didn’t make the cut,” member of the Bangsamoro Parliament Amir Mawallil said.

The BTA is the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. It is governed by 80 members representing various sectors and organizations in the BARMM.

Earlier, Mawallil filed Bangsamoro Parliament Bill No. 103, an act upgrading Datu Halun Sakilan Memorial Hospital into a Level II hospital. This is meant to promptly increase the hospital’s bed capacity, upgrade its professional healthcare services and facilities, and authorize a plantilla increase of its medical personnel. The second measure is Bill No. 128, an act establishing a Level I general hospital in the municipality of Sitangkai in the province of Tawi-Tawi. The third piece of proposed legislation is Bill No. 135, an act establishing a Level I general hospital with a 25-bed capacity in the municipality of South Ubian, also in the province of Tawi-Tawi. Finally, there is Bill No. 166, an act upgrading the Datu Alawaddin T. Bandon, Sr. Memorial Hospital in the municipality of Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi from its present Level I status. This will improve its capability from a 10-bed hospital to a 50-bed capacity under a Level II status.

These bills have not been passed into law because the interim Parliament had to wrap up its term and give way to the incoming members following the extension of the transition period. On August 11, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed another set of BTA lawmakers comprised of new and reappointed members. Mawallil, known for his robust track record as well as his service in the chamber from 2019 to 2022, was among the reappointed members of the Parliament.

“Tawi-Tawi is the last province of the BARMM—and the country down south, so it is really a challenge for the people of the province to go to the nearest urban center, like Zamboanga City, just to get basic health care. There is an urgent need to upgrade our health care facilities to save our people from having to travel to and from different places. We need to improve access to these services,” Mawallil stressed.

During the inaugural session of the BTA on Thursday, Sept. 15, Marcos addressed the interim parliament , urging them to pass meaningful legislation, including health care: "I also encourage the BTA to pass measures that will secure the welfare of the Moro people particularly in agri-fishery, health care, transportation, communication, digital infrastructure, and e-governance."

Mawallil noted that, “as the representatives of the Bangsamoro people, we owe it to our constituents that we address these needs, more so because these are basic necessities that should not be left unattended. We have to ensure that the people understand that we are ultimately here to serve them. I hope that this term extension will make it possible to pass these hospital bills at the soonest possible time.”

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