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Republic of the Philippines HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TWELFTH CONGRESS Third Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 1417 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Introduced by Reps. SATUR C. OCAMPO, JOEL G. VIRADOR, SIEGFRED D. DEDURO, CARLOS M. PADILLA, JUAN MIGUEL F. ZUBIRI, JOSE APOLINARIO LOZADA JR., BELLAFLOR ANGARA-CASTILLO, FILOMENA SAN JUAN, CYNTHIA VILLAR, J.V. BAUTISTA, ROSELLER L. BARINAGA, RAFAEL P. NANTES, RENATO B. MAGTUBO, ISIDRO E. REAL JR., BENIGNO C. AQUINO III, ALFONSO V. UMALI JR., PERPETUO B. YLAGAN, WILHELMINO M. SY-ALVARADO, CELIA T. LAYUS, ELIAS C. BULUT JR., LAURENCE B. WACNANG, KRISEL LAGMAN-LUISTRO, RODRIGUEZ D. DADIVAS, GENARO M. ALVAREZ JR., HERMINIO G. TEVES, NANETTE CASTELO DAZA, ENRIQUE T. GARCIA JR. _____________________________________________________________________________________ RESOLUTION CALLING FOR AN IMMEDIATE STOP TO THE PUBLIC BIDDING OF THE WELFAREVILLE PROPERTY IN MANDALUYONG CITY AND THE PLANNED PHASEOUT OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH LOCATED THEREIN, WHICH IS BEING DONE WITHOUT THE REQUISITE CONSULTATIO N PROCESS WITH AFFECTED SECTORS AND UNDER QUESTIONABLE BIDDING PRICES, AS THE EVENTUAL CLOSURE OF THE NATIONAL MENTAL HOSPITAL IN MANDALUYONG WILL MAKE PSYCHIATRIC CARE MORE INACCESSIBLE AND UNAFFORDABLE TO THE PEOPLE AND IMMEDIATELY RESULT IN DEPRIVING MUCH NEEDED HOSPITAL SERVICES FOR OVER 4,000 PATIENTS PRESENTLY CONFINED THERE AND 6,000 OUT- PATIENTS WHO SEEK TREATMENT EVERY MONTH, AS WELL AS DISPLACING 2,000 HOSPITAL PERSONNEL AND SOME 15,000 LONG- TIME RESIDENT FAMILIES OF WELFAREVILLE W HEREA S the National Center for Mental Health, located in the 110-hectare Welfareville property at Mandaluyong City, provides treatment, care and rehabilitation to the mentally ill who come not only from Metro Manila but far-flung provinces and who are mostly poor and needy. Established on December 17, 1928, the NCMH has grown from a 379-bed capacity to 4,200, with admissions often exceeding capacity; W HEREA S the Welfareville property is now being sold by the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development which heads the inter-agency Trustee Committee in charge of the sale. Divided into Parcel 1 (East Side, 72 hectares) and Parcel 2 (West Side, 38 hectares), the property is also presently occupied by the Department of Health’s National Capital Region office, the Population Commission, the Correctional Institute for Women and some 15,000 families who have long settled in Welfareville; W HEREA S the projected sale fails to consider the plight and the rights of the marginalized mental patients who will be deprived of much needed hospital services, and the growing problem of mental illness in the country, especially among the poor in Metro Manila. Approximately 17% of adults and 15% of children consulting the heath centers have mental disorders; W HEREA S most immediately and adversely affected by the impending closure of the country’s only mental hospital facility are over 4,000 patients presently confined there and 6,000 out-patients who seek treatment every month, as well as about 2,000 health personnel who work at the center; W HEREA S unheeding of vigorous protests, the DSWD has set its final bidding for Parcel 1 on January 12, 2004 and for Parcel 2 on January 5, 2004. In 1996 and 1997, the same plan of the DSWD was shelved because of massive protests; W HEREA S although the bidding process is now ongoing, plans to relocate the NCMH to Binloc, Bonoan, Pangasinan remain on the drawing board. The planned 1,000-bed capacity for the new site cannot

accommodate the current 4,000 in-patients of the NCMH; W HEREA S despite the devolution of hospital services to regions, it is only the NCMH which provides the necessary services for the mentally ill. In 2001, Health Secretary Dayrit disclosed that out of the 5,445 authorized beds for psychiatric in-patients, 4,200 are in the National Center for Mental Health; 1,245 beds are inequitably distributed among other regional hospitals while 500 beds are situated in a devolved hospital in Trece Martires City; W HEREA S of the 15 DOH hospitals in the National Capital Region, not one has a psychiatric in-patient service, except the NCMH. Only 8 of these hospitals have out-patient services. Yet, at least 71% of 52,480 consultations per year at NCMH come from the National Capital Region, 17% from Region 4 and 12% from Region 3. About 56% or 4,300 patients who seek admission at NCMH hail from NCR, while 24% or 2,100 patients come from Region 4 and 12% from Region 3; W HEREA S regional hospitals will not be able to absorb mental patients from the NCMH as existing mental hospitals in Davao and Bicol are already serving more than their capacity. The Acute Psychiatric Units (APUs) of regional hospitals and medical centers can only service 5 to 20 of the 3,000 patients that will not be accommodated at the new site; W HEREA S the security of tenure of the about 2,000 hospital personnel of NCMH would be violated, many of whom will also lose the housing benefits they have long struggled for and won at the Welfareville property. Their reassignment to different regions or other hospitals is not feasible as regional hospitals are neither prepared to care for many mentally ill patients nor to absorb employees, and government hospitals are also undergoing streamlining and retrenchment; W HEREA S the sale of Welfareville is an example of the lack of direction of government policy as it will also mean the demolition of the newly constructed DOH-NCR building worth ₧52 million (CY 2000) and the DOJ’s new building worth ₧78 million (CY 2003), even as the funds used to construct these buildings remain as unpaid loans of government from foreign sources. The demolition of the Correctional Institute for Women in particular raises questions as to how the DSWD plans to continue the reformatory services for women prisoners and where it will relocate the more than 15,000 families residing in Welfareville; W HEREA S no consultation or dialogue was reportedly conducted by the DOH and DSWD among the affected sectors. All biddings and other meetings are also reportedly being held secretly to avoid public scrutiny, even as questions are being raised why the DSWD property was appraised at only ₧12,000-18,000/sqm., although property in Mandaluyong generally cost ₧25,000-50,000/sqm.; W HEREA S NCMH employees and the Alliance of Health Workers are now pushing for the repeal of Republic Act 5260 of 1968 authorizing the sale of the Welfareville property as well as Presidential Decree 1541 of 1978 providing for the decentralization of the NCMH within a five-year period, in the face of govern-ment’s failure to develop a comprehensive, responsive and affordable national mental health care program; W HEREA S in the absence of a viable and feasible alternative to the existing facilities of the NCMH, the sale of Welfareville and resulting phase-out of the national mental hospital would be a great disservice to the poor and mentally ill. It grossly contradict the fundamental principles enshrined in the Constitution that the State shall provide social services to the people, promote the right to health and adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development at affordable cost; NO W THERE FO RE BE IT RES OLV ED that the House of Representatives call for an immediate stop to the public bidding of the Welfareville property in Mandaluyong City and the planned phase-out of the National Center for Mental Health located therein, which is being done without the requisite consultation process with affected sectors and under questionable bidding prices, as the eventual closure of the national mental institution in Mandaluyong will make psychiatric services more inaccessible and unaffordable to the people and immediately result in depriving much needed hospital services for over 4,000 patients presently confined there and 6,000 out-patients who seek treatment every month, as well as displacing 2,000 hospital workers and some 15,000 families who have long settled in Welfareville. Adopted,

SATUR C. OCAMPO Bayan Muna–Party-List Bayan Muna–Party-List

JOEL G. VIRADOR Bayan Muna–Party-List


HR 1417 - Natl Mental Hospital closure