President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has directed the establishment of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) Annex in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga to bring quality healthcare closer to Filipinos.
“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,” read Executive Order (EO) No. 19, signed by the President on March 8.
EO No.19 noted that most Filipinos suffering from cardiovascular diseases would have to travel to Metro Manila where the Philippine Heart Center 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 read.
Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, cardiovascular diseases were the leading cause of death in the country as of October 31, 2022.
The EO tasked the PHC 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.
The PHC, established under Presidential Decree No. 673 (s. 1975), is the sole specialty hospital in the Philippines that provides specialized medical services to Filipinos suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
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.”
According to the EO, 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.
Catherine R. Cueto