BARMM lawmakers approve P50-M oxygen tanks procurement - TrueID

BARMM lawmakers approve P50-M oxygen tanks procurement

Philippine News AgencyAugust 25, 2021

The BARMM administration building in Cotabato City (Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Information Office – BARMM) 

COTABATO CITY – Members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BTA-BARMM) have approved a measure that sought the procurement of an additional PHP50 million worth of oxygen tanks for use of patients with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

BTA Members of the Parliament (MPs) Ziaur-Rahman Adiong, engineer Baintan Ampatuan, and lawyers Nabil Tan and Ubaida Pacasem principally authored the measure.

Adiong said Wednesday the measure “helps to ensure that provincial hospitals in the region have enough supply of oxygen use for its patients.”

On Tuesday afternoon, a total of 51 members of the BTA parliament, both physically and virtually present, unanimously passed the bill on third and final reading. No Bangsamoro lawmaker voted against BTA Bill 95 or the Oxygen Buffer Stock of 2021.

Adiong said the country is currently dealing with a new surge of Covid-19 cases, which has caused major hospitals, including the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (AMPC) in Marawi City, to reach full bed capacity.

Other medical facilities in the BARMM, he said, have also reported high occupancy rates, citing an increase in ventilator use.

"The newly-mutated Delta variant should give us an idea on how we should respond quickly to the growing threat of these more infectious and virulent Covid-19 variants," Adiong said, adding that the bill intends to prevent further Covid-19 fatalities.

He said the region could not rely solely on "lockdowns" but it needed to be prepared to respond rapidly.

The BTA, he said, is putting ready resources to good use and can help save lives through the enacted measure.

Under the approved bill, the additional tanks will be equitably distributed in different provinces in the region. The region’s Ministry of Finance of Budget and Management will release the budget to the Ministry of Health (MOH) based on the standard accounting and auditing laws, rules, and regulations.

As of August 24, the Ministry of Health has reported a total of 479 active Covid-19 cases across the region.

Since March last year, the region tallied a cumulative recovery of 9,173 Covid-19 cases from 10,036 for a recovery rate of 91 percent. The death toll from the virus stands at 384. (PNA)

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