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COTABATO CITY — Voting via viva voce, members of the Bangsamoro Parliament have approved without objections a bill that seeks to procure an additional Php50-million worth of oxygen tanks.
Ziaur-Rahman Adiong, Atty. Ubaida Pacasem, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan and another solon principally authored Parliament Bill No. 95, or “An Act Authorizing the Use of Fifty Million (Php50 million) to Fund the Acquisition of Additional Oxygen Tanks to be Charged Against the Quick Response Fund 2021 on Health of the Bangsamoro Government”.
The proposed measure will ensure that hospitals have an adequate supply of medical oxygen throughout the region’s health facilities.
Regional hospitals in the BARMM had already expressed that they have reached their maximum bed capacity due to the coronavirus surge.
The bill’s authors also stressed the demand for the oxygen tanks brought by the alarming increase of Covid-19 cases had left people in the country, including the Bangsamoro people, to scramble for supplies.
“Access to necessary oxygen and ventilators is getting scarce, with more people requiring these types of equipment for their treatment,” they wrote in their explanatory note, noting that hospitals’ inability to cater to patients has resulted in infected people dying.
“Following the Committee on Health’s deliberation this morning, the body adopted the said bill as an urgent matter,” Committee on Health chair Saffrulah Dipatuan said in the plenary as he delivered the committee report.
The effort to immediately act on passing the legislation, according to Adiong, will prevent further deaths caused by the virus as the tanks served as the region’s “buffer stock” when oxygen supplies become scarce.
If passed into law, the legislative measure will order the Ministry of Health (MOH) to distribute oxygen tanks and other medical equipment to health facilities in the Bangsamoro region. (Publication and Media Relations Division) — (✓)