Davao City disqualifies NPA members, lawbreakers from accident fund

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao City’s accident fund policy for its residents has been revised to exclude members of New People’s Army (NPA) and people who've broken the law, NPA members and lawbreakers were previously eligible for the Lingap para sa Mahirap program if they needed assistance.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio made this announcement on Tuesday, March 20, through the City Information Office.

Duterte-Carpio said this was done “to further strengthen the program’s processes and to ensure the efficient delivery of its services to qualified residents of Davao City.”

This came after she signed Executive Order (EO) No. 7 series of 2018, which amended a section of the Lingap para sa Mahirap program, more commonly known as Lingap.

The amendment now excludes patients found to be NPA members “for their injuries arising from clashes with government troops.”

In a statement Monday, Duterte-Carpio said exclusion was based on her father President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 947, which declared the NPA as a designated or identified terrorist organization.

It can also be recalled that the mayor led localized peace talks with NPAs operating in the city but was called off few days after the President made the proclamation. Duterte-Carpio explained the city government would run the risk of being tagged as a terrorist supporter should they pursue the local initiative.

Lawbreakers ineligible

Tuesday’s announcement also revealed that the following patients are can no longer take advantage of the Lingap program: drivers or passengers injured in accidents caused by violating traffic laws, drivers involved in an accident due to alcohol consumption, individuals injured due to punishable acts, and patients in maternity cases (except those involving newborn babies).

Lingap began in 2001 during the term of then-Mayor and now President Duterte. It aims to shoulder the costs of indigent Davao City residents’ hospital bills, medicine, funeral and burial costs.

Based on the city government’s website, Lingap is available to general public, as long as those who wish to avail the service comply with documentation requirements. – Rappler.com