DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The city government realized better medical and hospitalization assistance to indigents after it struck out accidents and medical emergencies caused by carelessness and failure to observe basic road safety rules.
Josephine Mitaran said the city saved up to P100,000 a day that was previously used to give hospital assistance for motorcycle accidents even if the patients have ignored safety regulations such as wearing crash helmets and no drunk-driving.
Patients given assistance are those admitted and confined at the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC).
“Save budget from the fund that we used to give for clients engaged in motorcycle accidents were given to other clients,” said Mitaran.
Lingap para sa Mahirap Center in SPMC caters to around 500 to 600 patients a day asking for help coming from different parts of Mindanao. Some 200 to 300 of these a day are from Davao City, mostly residents from the districts of Buhangin, Agdao, Bunawan, Calinan, Paquibato, and Marilog, where many indigent communities are located.
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has ordered the ‘No Helmet, No Lingap’ policy in February this year, which now excludes hospital patients engaged in any vehicular accident without wearing a motorcycle helmet.
Huge banners were posted in many parts of the city reminding motorist that the local government will no longer give aid if they violate the policy set by the mayor.
Some tarpaulins hanged send a statement of “Drink, Drive and Meet an Accident–No Lingap” and “No Helmet, No Lingap”.
But Mitaran clarified that patients who are engaged in motorcycle accidents will still undergo evaluation from Lingap Staff. As a requirement for clients, the center includes the police report in relation to their accident.
“Because not all accidents usually violate the policy of the city mayor, that’s why we need to know their case. It is still a case to case basis,” said Mitaran.
Meanwhile, the office is now implementing a more strict evaluation of their clients asking for assistance as fixers for SPMC patients caught their attention.
Mitaran said fixers asked a minimum of P500 for patients or their family to process their paper for hospital bills or medical assistance. Some also approached pregnant patients for them to act as their husband to ask Lingap assistance.
Mitaran said identified fixers are from Pantukan, Compostela Valley and Panabo City.
“That why we are really keeping strict rules in giving assistance to in need individuals because we don’t want them to become victims as well as we don’t want to waste government funds,” said Mitaran.
Lingap head clarifies that the center will no longer give assistance clients who are not directly related to their represented patient.(davaotoday.com)