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Marcos orders construction of PH Heart Center Annex in Clark

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has ordered the establishment of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) Annex at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, with the aim to bring quality healthcare closer to Filipinos.

In signing Executive Order No. 19, Marcos pointed out that most Filipinos who are suffering from cardiovascular diseases would have to travel to Metro Manila where the PHC is located.

"With world-class highways and an international airport, the Clark Freeport Zone is a gateway to Central Luzon. As such, establishing a specialty hospital annex in Clark Freeport Zone will bring quality healthcare closer to the people,” the EO stated.

"Subject to limitations under existing laws, rules and regulations, the National Government shall establish the Philippine Heart Center Annex in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga (PHC Clark), which will primarily render specialized medical services for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases,” it added.

The EO said the PHC is tasked to establish, manage, and administer PHC Clark and amend its existing hospital development plan to include the proposed programs and initiatives for the PHC Clark, consistent with the Philippine Health Facility Development Plan 2020-2040, and in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) and other relevant government agencies.

It further noted that the amount needed for the establishment and continued operations of the PHC Clark “shall be charged against the available appropriations of the DOH and/or the annual corporate operating budget of the PHC, subject to the pertinent budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and regulations.”

Additional funding may also be sourced from agreements that the PHC may enter into with other government agencies for the purpose of establishing and operating the PHC Clark, the EO said.

The EO cited the Philippine Statistics Authority, which said that cardiovascular diseases were the leading cause of death in the country as of October 31, 2022. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA Integrated News