DSWD medical aid now available to families of gov’t contractuals
MANILA, Philippines – Family members of government contract of service workers (COS) are now entitled to receive medical benefits through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) free medicine program.
There are 592,162 workers under fixed-term arrangements out of the 2.4 million strong Philippine bureaucracy. They do not have the security of tenure and social protections regular employees receive.
The amended guidelines of the agency’s “Linga at Gabay Para sa May Sakit” (previously LinGaP sa Masa), is a replication of President Rodrigo Duterte’s local initiative when he was mayor of Davao City. It initially provided free medicines to poor families in selected government hospitals.
Under the new DSWD guidelines, beneficiaries are now entitled to other medical needs such as assistive devices and laboratory procedures.
“During the implementation phase, the Department noted that the original guidelines limited the assistance to free medicines. We immediately saw that many indigent patients needed not only medicines, but also assistive devices,” Assistant Secretary Aleli Bawagan said.
“This is particularly true in the case of persons with disabilities (PWDs). Many impoverished Filipinos also need funds for laboratory costs which are often out of their financial reach or are outright exorbitant,” she added. (READ: Free medicines for poor families available in 6 hospitals)
DSWD has now tapped more government hospitals to provide the services indicated. The list of host institutions now includes:
- Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital
- East Avenue Medical Center
- Lung Center of the Philippines
- Philippine Children’s Hospital
- San Lazaro Hospital
- Philippine General Hospital
- Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in San Fernando City, Pampanga
- Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City
- Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City
- Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City
How to avail
A total of P256 million have been spent for 27,735 indigent clients as of September 29, said the DSWD. This figure only comprises 25.64% of the total available funds that is why the department is encouraging more Filipinos to avail this benefit.
Those qualified to the program are:
- Families or individuals who are indigent, vulnerable or disadvantaged
- Informal sector workers and poor based on DSWD Listahanan
- Individuals in crisis situation based on assessment of social workers
- Employees and contract of service workers of government in crisis situation
- Dependents of soldiers and police officers killed or wounded in line of duty
Potential beneficiaries may approach medical social workers posted in participating hospitals and present the following documents:
- 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 3 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.