MANILA – President Duterte has recently submitted to Congress his initial report on the implementation of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (RA 11494/Bayanihan 2) which laid down the roadmap for the government response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bayanihan 2 continues the programs under Bayanihan 1 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. Signed into law by President Duterte last September 11, and funded by a P165.5 billion outlay, P140 billion of which is regular appropriation, it sets aside P25.5 billion in standby funds for the law’s special porposes.
“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,” the report said.
President Duterte has vowed to sustain and enhance efforts and strengthen the government’s capabilities to implement programs and projects to mitigate the adverse socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, enhance the Philippine healthcare system;s capability 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 anti-Covid-19 measures.
The Department of Health (DOH) now continues to hire additional human resources for health (HRHs) as part of efforts to enhance the healthcare system capacity to contain Covid-19.
The report said a total of 8,980 HRHs have been hired from September 11 to 30, and 10,673 nurses have been deployed in primary care facilities to participate in hospital-based and community-based responses, while other deployed HRHs are currently engaged in related responses to Covid-19. To strengthen contact tracing, the DILG has hired an additional 9,557 contract tracers nationwide.
The country currently has 32 Covid referral hospitals and 1,874 Covid accepting hospitals, both government and privately owned and operated, according to the report. Of the hospotals’ total bed capacity, 20% or 21,968 are dedicated for Covid-19 patients. There now also 138 Covid-19 testing laboratories in the country with every region having a licensed Covid-19 testing laboratory as of September 30, the DOH shared.
The report also said the Department of Public Works and Highways, along with other agencies and LGUs continue to establish new and manage temporary quarantine facilities, treatment centers/hospitals, and related medical facilities.
On the conduct of clinical trials, DOH said the country has 17 bilateral partners and has conveyed its interest to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial for vaccines and the Covax Facility.
The Philippines, as of October 5, the country had a total of 324,762 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 273,123 of whom have already recovered, while 5,480 have died.