Former president and now Deputy House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is proposing the creation of a hospital for Filipino teachers in recognition of their contribution to educating the country's youth.
Arroyo filed House Bill No. 2967 establishing the Philippine Teachers' Hospital, which would cater to the health concerns of teachers and their dependents.
The lawmaker said teachers are exposed to various work-related health risks such as pharyngitis, hypertension, hyper-acidity and anemia so they deserve the best health facilities.
"We have always recognized the important role of our teachers. They are our unsung heroes because despite the difficulties that confront their profession, they have remained steadfast in molding the values and character of our youth," she said.
The hospital, which would be built in the National Capital Region, would get an initial appropriation of P300 million in the annual budget.
For those outside the National Capital Region, Arroyo proposed that regional hospitals create teachers' wards with an initial capacity of at least 50 beds, which would provide hospitalization and medical care to teachers residing in their area.
Covered by the bill are all those employed by public and private educational institutions as teachers, instructors, administrative support employees, physicians, dentists and nurses, officials of DepEd and CHED and graduates of education programs who passed the government examination for teachers.
On the other hand, their dependents shall refer to their legitimate spouse, their children below 21 years old and parents dependent on them for support.
"It is the hope of the author that such hospital can provide comprehensive health care services to all teachers and their dependents and complement the existing package of services under the National Health Insurance Program," Arroyo said.
The Philippine Teachers' Hospital shall be administered by a board of directors headed by the secretaries of education and health as ex-officio chairmen with the social welfare secretary and CHED chair as ex-officio members. The other members shall be representatives from the education sector appointed by the President, one each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.