Senator Sonny Angara said government should make sure that the construction of Barangay Health Stations (BHS) in every barangay in the country will be completed at the soonest possible time.
Despite the reported irregularities surrounding the P8.1-billion BHS Project of the Department of Health (DOH), Angara said the BHS project “remains a noble initiative that must be continued.”
“The completion of the project will ensure the delivery of PhilHealth’s primary care package to the poor and vulnerable sector.”
The veteran legislator said the completion of the project will ensure the delivery of PhilHealth’s primary care package to the poor and vulnerable sectors.
“Dapat ay ipagpatuloy pa rin ng DOH ang pagpapatayo ng mga barangay health station. Proper guidelines must be followed to ensure fast delivery of services. Dapat ay siguruhing maayos ang mga sites bago mag-grant ng mga kontrata,” the seasoned lawmaker said, who joined the call of other senators to include the project under the General Appropriations Act so it can be scrutinized by Congress.
In 2015, the DOH entered into a P8.1-billion contract for the construction of 5,700 barangay health stations in public elementary schools in barangays without existing health stations. The project was divided into two phases: construction of 3,200 BHS in Phase 1, and 2,500 BHS in Phase 2.
However, the Commission on Audit (COA) in its 2017 Performance Audit Report had observed the following issues and irregularities in the BHS project: 1) the list of project sites for the construction of BHS included barangays with existing BHS, 2) identified school sites have no available space/lot for the construction of BHS, and 3) project sites have no existing schools.
During the Senate probe, the DOH revealed that only 218 of the 3,200 target barangay health stations under Phase 1 had been constructed and validated with proper documents. The project was supposed to be completed in 2016.
The non-completion of the project adversely affected the distribution of 5,000 TSeKap packages amounting to P175 million.
Aside from the delayed construction of the BHS, the non-completion of the said project also adversely affected the distribution of 5,000 TSeKap packages amounting to P175 million.
“TSeKap” covers essential health services including physical and diagnostic examinations, medical consultation, and medicines.
“TSeKap” or Tamang Serbisyo sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya is a primary care package that covers essential health services including physical and diagnostic examinations, medical consultation, and medicines.
Currently, such program is only available to indigents and sponsored members. Angara has been leading the call in the Senate to expand the primary care benefit package to cover all Filipinos.
“Ang sabi sa amin ng PhilHealth, mababa raw ang utilization rate ng TSeKap package. Kaya naman pala kaunti lang ang nakikinabang dito dahil hindi naipapatayo ang mga kailangang barangay health station at rural health unit na dapat sana’y nagbibigay ng serbisyo para sa mga mahihirap na nasa malalayong barangay,” the youthful senator said.
“Bilyun-bilyong piso ang pinag-uusapan natin dito. Every peso misspent is a peso taken away from poor and vulnerable Filipino families who need it the most. Hindi natin papayagang mabahiran ng katiwalian ang mga proyekto na ang layunin ay gawing abot-kaya ang pagpapagamot para sa bawat Pilipino,” Angara added.
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