Senator Bato files bill regulating use of government ambulances

Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa has filed a bill that will mete government officials and employees who will misuse government ambulances with administrative sanction and possible dismissal from government service.

Senator Bato’s Senate Bill No. 229 will be known as an Act Regulating the Use of Government Ambulances, Providing Penalties Therefore and for Other Purposes if passed into law.

Dela Rosa said he received several complaints that government ambulances are being used for personal purposes and that during emergency situations patients have to pay for the gasoline for these vehicles.

According to the bill, any government ambulance assigned or donated to local government units shall be under the joint custody of the local chief executive and a health officer. Both shall be jointly liable for any violation committed under the Act.

Dela Rosa’s proposed law seeks to prohibit public officials and employees from using ambulances for office service vehicle, for recreation and/or personal use. It is also deemed unlawful by individuals or entities to use the ambulance for private use and to paint over or allow the painting over of any government ambulance to circumvent the provisions of the Act.

Public officers and employees are prohibited from collecting fees from patients or discriminating patients from using government ambulances due to religious beliefs, gender, economic status, public policy or good customs.

Violators of the Act face 30 days suspension from office for the first offense, six months suspension for the second offense and termination from service and forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from public service for the third offense.