News Release

President Duterte appeals for additional bed capacity

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on September 14, 2020. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants private hospitals to increase their bed capacities intended for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in order for the country to cope with the contagion.

“What struck my attention was ito sanang appeal to private hospitals to increase the number of beds dedicated to COVID patients. Kung sana ho madagdagan ninyo,” he said in a televised address Monday, adding the number of infections are still increasing.

Infections vary, he said, noting that in some cases and areas, there is fast recovery rate while others lag behind probably because of the prior undetected infections at the height of the pandemic.

During the meeting with the President, peace adviser and National Task Force for COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said they are working to increase bed capacities at hospitals as well as to boost isolation efforts of infected patients.

Galvez thanked the President for signing the Bayanihan 2 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, which allocates P4.5 billion for constructing isolation centers, securing hotel rooms for isolation and providing additional hospital beds.

He told the President that the government has a total of 79 hotels in its inventory with 7,114 beds intended for isolating those who contracted the virus.

There is ongoing construction of facilities to house additional 1,006 COVID dedicated hospital beds that would be ready by November, he said.

Galvez said businessman Manuel Pangilinan has donated P47 million to provide 250 COVID dedicated beds to East Avenue Medical Center including more or less 25 ICU beds that are already available.

At the same time, he said the government added 200 beds in Rizal Medical Center and similar efforts are being done in UP-Philippine General Hospital and Batangas Medical Center.

Meanwhile, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will hire 50,000 contact tracers throughout the country to be funded by the P5 billion allocation from Bayanihan 2.

“Ang pinakamataas po na binigyan natin dahil sa kanilang pangangailangan ang National Capital Region na mayroong 9,600; ang Region III po na mayroong 5,992; at ang CALABARZON na may 5,810,” Año said.

Año also noted that the government will prioritize the employment of qualified OFWs and displaced workers as contact tracers with the government providing the training. PND