Bangsamoro lawmakers push creation of hospitals in 3 Basilan towns

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 14 October) — The creation of hospitals to improve health care services in at least three towns of Basilan province has gained ground at the Bangsamoro Parliament.

Members of Parliament (MPs) Abdulmuhmin Mujahid, Zul Qarneyn Abas, Minority leader lawyer Laisa Alamia, Faiz Alauddin, Alzad Sattar, Deputy Speaker Hatimil Hassan, Muslima Asmawil and Muslimin Jakilan on Wednesday proposed the establishment of a hospital in Tipo-Tipo town.

The authors suggested the infirmary to have a 15-bed capacity during its initial operations.

The seat of power in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Cotabato City, 22 September 2021. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO BUENO

“By establishing the hospital in Tipo-Tipo, health workers would be able to improve the delivery of health services in the said municipality, help develop a health responsive system, and serve patients who are unable to afford to send their patients to certain medical facilities and hospitals,” the authors said.

The report was released by the Publication and Media Relations Division of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the interim body tasked to govern the Bangsamoro region until June 30, 2022.

Congress had approved a bill seeking the postponement of the parliamentary elections, which will effectively extend the transition period in the BARMM once President Rodrigo Duterte signs it into a law.

BARMM straddles the provinces of Maguindao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Marawi, Lamitan and Cotabato.

The Tipo-Tipo hospital seeks to serve the medical needs not just of local residents but also those from the neighboring towns, according to the authors.

Earlier, MPs Sattar, Hassan, Alamia, Asmawil, Jakilan, Alauddin and Abdulmuhmin Mujahid, all from Basilan, also proposed the construction of hospitals in Muhammad Ajul and Tabuan-Lasa towns in a bid to improve access to quality healthcare in those far-flung towns.

Sattar, a doctor, said the difficulties in transferring patients from those towns can cause loss of lives of patients in emergency condition.

Currently, the municipality of Muhammad Ajul only caters to patients at their rural health unit, while Tabuan-Lasa has only a few barangay health centers serving the patients of the entire municipality.

Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the BARMM, popularly called the Bangsamoro Organic Law, mandates the Bangsamoro government to provide a comprehensive and integrated health service delivery for its constituents.

“To give substance to the provisions of the Philippine Constitution and the BOL, there is an urgent need for the construction and establishment of hospitals in Tabuan-Lasa and Muhammad Ajul,” Sattar said.

The parliament’s committee on health had previously discussed the possibility of consolidating all hospital measures filed before the plenary. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)