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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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