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Erap, DSWD ink MoA for more free medicines for poor Manileños

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has forged ties with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in an effort to get more medicines that will be needed to boost his program on caring of the poor and sickly residents of the city.
The project is dubbed “Lingap at Gabay para sa May Sakit (Lingap sa Masa.”
Estrada signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with DSWD acting Secretary Emmanuel A. Leyco; DSWD-National Capital Region (NCR) Regional Director Vincent Andrew T. Leyson and DSWD-NCR Crisis Intervention Unit head Marlene Guzman, including the city’s six district hospitals for the intensification of its caring for the less privileged constituents held Monday, March 5, at Manila City Hall.
The MoA aims to provide free medicines to indigents and to needy government workers.
The signing of the agreement was joined by Dr. Regina Socorro L. Bagsic, consultant on Hospital Administration and Service; Dr. Rachael S. Marinas, acting Medical Director of Ospital ng Maynila; Dr. Merle D. Sacdalan, acting Medical Director of Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital; Dr. Ma. Luisa D. Aquino, acting Director of Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center; Dr. Clara C. Reyes, acting Director of Sta. Ana Hospital; Dr. Isaias R. Cando, acting Director of Ospital ng
Tondo; Dr. Leonora P. Pascual, acting Director of Ospital ng Sampaloc, and Tommy Co, consultant.
“For me, ‘Lingap sa Masa’ health care is for the people, it belongs to the people, kaya nga I am very thankful to President Rodrigo Duterte for allocating P1 billion in medical assistance for our poor kababayan. D’yan pa lamang, madarama na natin ang malaking pagmamalasakit ng Pangulo sa mahihirap nating kababayan. Makikita natin ang kanyang mabilis na aksiyon…Thank you for his ready response to the needs of our poor Filipinos who cannot afford to buy medicines,” Estrada said.
The “Lingap sa Masa” was in line with President Duterte’s decree to provide free medicines to indigents and vulnerable population from the NCR, whereas the DSWD through its Crisis Intervention Unit provides the necessary assistance that is needed.
Leyco said President Duterte has appropriated P1 billion for free medicines for in-patient and out-patient in selected government hospitals.
DSWD NCR acting CIU Marlene Guzman added the program provides free medical checkup, aside from free medical assistance.
“Lingap is a program to protect our people, especially the poor patients, from unacceptable risks of harm and danger because they have no money to buy medicines…The program is a testament of the great compassion the President has for the poor…at kami sa Maynila ay mabibiyayaan ng ganitong pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit ng pamahalaang Duterte,” Estrada explained.
The mayor further said the Lingap is a very good initiative and will go a long way in helping poor and underprivileged Filipinos.
“Napakaganda nito dahil sa ospital mismo, may free medicines na available agad dahil merong partner pharmacy ang Lingap na pwedeng kunan ng gamot,” Estrada stressed.
Leyco explained “Lingap sa Masa” will be implemented at identified hospitals where patients needing prescription medicines will be assessed and provided assistance via the issuance of guarantee letters for the purchase of medicines from hospital pharmacies or from partnered drug stores.
“Lingap sa Masa” is a program distinct and separate from the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).
Thus, any patient who has received medical assistance for the same purpose under AICS will not be eligible under “Lingap para sa Masa Program” and vice-versa.
In a statement, DSWD said it’s the right of the public to avail themselves of the medical services and assistance from taxes collected by the government.
Other partner government hospitals that DSWD signed with a MoA in NCR are Philippine General Hospital; Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital; East Avenue Medical Center; Jose Rodriguez in Tala, Caloocan City; Lung Center of the Philippines; Philippine Children’s Medical Center; Quirino Medical Center in Project 4, Quezon City and San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.
Qualified beneficiaries are: 1) Families or individuals who are indigent, vulnerable or disadvantaged; 2) Those in the informal sector and poor based on DSWD Listahan; 3) Those who are in crisis situation based on assessment of social workers; 4) Employees and contract of service workers of government in crisis situation, and 5) Dependents of soldiers and police officers killed or wounded in line of duty.
Documents needed are: Any valid ID of the patient; any valid ID of representative and written authorization signed by the patient in favor of the representative; doctor’s prescription issued within the last three months, indicating date and name of patient, duly signed by attending physician, with his or her license number and contact details; proof of Indigency or Certificate issued by the barangay or medical social service of an identified hospital.
Beneficiaries may also approach medical social workers assigned to the participating hospitals for further assistance in availing of the services.

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