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DSWD offers free prescription drugs for the poor

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2016

Department of Social Welfare and Development Sec. Judy Taguiwalo

According to Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, the one billion-peso fund for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) from the office of President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has not been downloaded yet to the department since the guidelines for using the fund has just been finalized.

Nevertheless, those who cannot afford to buy medicines can avail of DSWD’s assistance by presenting their valid prescription and certificate of indigence to DSWD field office.

Instead of giving cash, DSWD will replace valid and updated prescriptions with guarantee letters and referrals to pharmacies and hospitals.

“Hopefully, ma-implement natin ito by the start of next year 2017. Kahit ngayon hindi pa na-download sa department ang one billion, inumpisahan na ho natin ito,” Sec. Taguiwalo said.

(Hopefully, we can implement it by the start of next year 2017. The one billion-peso fund has not been uploaded to the department but we have already started it [program].)

“Kung may mga reseta ho na valid at indigent ho yung nangangailangan, hahanapan ho ng paraan ang department na maibigay ito dahil alam natin ang usapin ng gamot ay nag-i-spell out ng buhay o kamatayan lalo na sa mahihirap natin,” she added.

(If you have valid prescription, and you are indigent and in need, the department will look for ways to provide you the medicines because we know the issue of medicines spells out  life or death particularly for the poor.)

The talks for memorandum of agreements with major hospitals and generic drugstores that will help in the implementation are still ongoing.

Currently, DSWD has signed MOUs with six hospitals in different areas of the country.

An individual can ask for medical assistance amounting to five to 25 thousand pesos quarterly through the recommendation of a field social worker. Above these amounts, requests have to be facilitated and approved by social welfare and development officials.

“In extremely justifiable cases, the amount of assistance beyond 25,000 but not to exceed 75,000 may be granted subject to the approval of the assistant secretary for protective programs for DSWD central office to the regional director to DSWD field office,” said Taguiwalo. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lower House passes free dialysis bill for poor Filipinos

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A patient undergoing dialysis (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — The House Committee on Health has approved the proposed free dialysis for poor Filipinos.

The proposed law mandates each government hospital to set up a dialysis facility.

The bill also seeks to expand the coverage of the Philhealth benefit package to include kidney transplant.

Under the proposal, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be in charge of identifying the beneficiaries of the free medical service.

The bill is scheduled for plenary debate and voting before passing it into third and final reading at the House of Representatives. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Gabriela stages protest against Duterte’s statement about NPA female members

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Gabriela and other women advocate groups’ protest

MANILA, Philippines — Responding to the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte, thousands of women from Gabriela and other women advocate groups gathered for a protest in Malate, Manila.

Through poems and songs, they voiced out their dismay at the statement of President Duterte to shoot New People’s Army (NPA) women members in their private parts.

Former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo was also present to express her disapproval over the matter.

“Layunin nitong patahimikin ang kalahati ng populasyon at panatilihing mga pu** lang sila, walang silbi, pangkama, pangkusina, sunud-sunuran, kimi, (It aims to silence half of the population and to degrade them as mere genitals, useless, objectified, subservient),” said Taguiwalo.

According to Gabriela Secretary General Joms Salvador, the statement of the president is a clear attempt to trample upon all the women in the country.

“Ayaw ng kababaihan sa mga macho pasistang naghahari-harian. Kaya nating kumilos, magkaisa. Hindi naman tanga at hindi lalong mabibilog ang ulo ng mga kababaihan na alam kung ano ang sinasabi ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Salvador.

(Women don’t like macho-fascists who act like a king. We can unite and take action. We are not idiots and President Duterte definitely cannot fool women who know what he’s saying.)

The group also said that they cannot accept the answer of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that the president did not mean it literally.

“Seryoso at literal na galit ang kababaihan sa pagtatanggol niya kay Pangulong Duterte. Hindi na tama na patuloy na magpalusot,” said the Gabriela general-secretary.

(Women are seriously and literally angry at his defense of President Duterte. It’s not right anymore to continue making excuses.)

The women advocates cut the tongue of the effigy of President Duterte.

This, they said, symbolizes their dismay over harsh jokes about women. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue

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Mayon residents receive face masks for protection against ash particles

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_013018_life must go on

ALBAY, Philippines – Social workers said there are not enough masks for everyone and that those who did not get a mask are advised to use a wet towel as an alternative.

“It’s important to wear these masks because the ash will enter your lungs and affect your health. You can get asthma. The dust can cause allergies to act up,” DSWD social worker, Jocelyn Arcanio said.

Residents were told to wear face masks to avoid inhaling ash and toxic volcanic material. The face masks were donated by an non-governmental organization that shipped them from Manila.

Meanwhile, it is still business as usual for villages covered in layers of ash, with residents saying they are used to the volcano’s eruptions.

Some could be seen wearing face masks, going to the market and washing away the dirt.

“Mount Mayon has always been like that. It won’t have a major eruption because it already exhausted its heat. Camalig residents are used to this kind of life when Mount Mayon acts up like that,” resident Malon Nusheri said.

“It’s so hard because we used our own money to farm and now it’s all gone because the volcano destroyed it. The rich have it better because they have the capital to recover. We don’t. Our cows almost died back there because of the ash. That could have cost us our livelihood,” displaced farmer Joseph Natorcabe said.

More than 80,000 had fled from villages within an 8-km (5-mile) danger zone around Mount Mayon and farm animals were also evacuated to temporary pastures.

State volcanologists said a major eruption is possible anytime although the crisis may last for as long as 3 months. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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