The House Committee on Health chaired by Rep. Angelina Tan (4th District, Quezon) is set to tackle a bill seeking to create a medical center that will provide affordable treatment for ear, nose, throat, head and neck (ENTHN) disorders.

Alvarez said the PEC will focus on treating people suffering from ENTHN diseases who are unable to secure the necessary medical treatment because of the high cost of specialized services.

Under his proposed measure, the number of beds in PEC allocated for indigent patients shall not be less than 40% of the total number of hospital beds. Alvarez said coming up with this kind of facility is timely considering the prevalence of ENTHN-related illnesses in the country.

“Respiratory tract infections, which include colds, sinusitis, nasopharyngitis, and laryngitis are among the leading causes of morbidity in the country,” according to the speaker.

Alvarez also said a study showed more than a million Filipinos were estimated to have hearing impairment and a ratio of one to two per 1,000 live births were born with cleft lip or cleft palate.

“Despite the high prevalence rate of ENTHN diseases and their tremendous effect on health, these conditions have not been given enough attention and priority,” he noted.

Alvarez said ENTHN diseases not only affect the productivity and performance of a person but also cause permanent physical disabilities and deformities.

HB 6720 recommends the PEC to be placed under the supervision of the Department of Health (DOH) and administered by a board of trustees (Board) composed of seven members. They will be appointed by the President of the Philippines on the endorsement of the DOH Secretary.

In addition to their general powers of administration, the Board shall formulate and adopt the by-laws, rules and regulations, policies, guidelines and procedures consistent with law and the provisions of the bill to govern the administration and operations of the PEC.

Moreover, the Board shall formulate and develop programs for the prevention, control and treatment of ENTHN disease and adopt measures which are necessary to carry out the provisions of the bill.

The Board shall enter into such agreements and arrangements with other medical institutions, domestic or foreign, as may be necessary in attaining the purpose and objectives of the PEC.

It shall also receive in trust legacies, gifts and donations of real or personal property of all kinds and to administer the same for the benefit of the PEC, in accordance with the directions and instructions of the donor, and in default thereof, in such a manner as in its discretion the Board may determine.

Included in the functions and powers of the Board is to invite foreign ENTHN specialists and similar experts in various medical fields to train the personnel of the PEC or send them to conduct research in medical institutes or universities for advanced training or observation.

These personnel may likewise attend international or regional conventions, conferences, congresses and seminar as the Board may deem necessary to accomplish the purposes and objectives of the PEC.

The measure stipulates that P300 million shall be appropriated for the initial operation and maintenance of the PEC. The funding shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

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