Lawmakers from Abra and Ifugao joined the nation in welcoming the passage of the Republic Act 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law as they also commend the efforts of both the House of Representatives and the Senate to enact such legislation.
Abra lone Representative JB Bernos, a co-principal author of the house version of the said bill, highlighted the importance of such law that would address mental health problems affecting many Filipinos today.
“We congratulate all the authors of this law for a job well done, especially to Cong. Chiqui Roa-Puno of Antipolo City who brought us into this worthy cause.” he said while reminding the nation that “Help is here”.
Meanwhile, Rep. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao emphasized that “change has come” as the passage of the RA. 11036 finally gave importance to a health issue that has long been neglected.
Baguilat urged relevant government agencies to ensure that adequate funds will be allocated to ensure that this law will be implemented.
He noted that there are only two mental health hospitals in the country, 46 outpatient facilities, 19 community-based psychiatric inpatient facilities and 15 community residential facilities which are mostly located only in the major Philippine Cities.
“This is a landmark move by Congress and also much-needed good news from Malacanang. WIth the passage of this law, we are confident that mental health services will be given priority and the stigma around mental illness will be removed,” said Baguilat.
In a data provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority, Five FIlipino adults are said to be suffering from some form of mental or psychiatric disorders including depression, while half of adults who have been to rural health centers in remote areas were also found to be suffering from psychological illnesses.
The Philippine Mental Health Law or RA 11036 was filed on October 2016 and was finally signed by President Duterte last June 21, 2018, and it aims to develop and establish a comprehensive national mental health care system which will be responsive to the psychiatric, neurologic, and psychosocial needs of the Filipino people.
By Japheth Tobias