John Matthew Cruz
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has urged poor families from various regions to avail themselves of its Libreng Gamot Para Sa Masa (Lingap), where free medicines will be given away by the agency.
Metro Manila (NCR), Central Luzon, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Davao Region can now obtain free medicines under DSWD’s Lingap program.
Lingap is already implemented in selected hospitals in the said regions through the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital for NCR; Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in San Fernando City, Pampanga for Central Luzon; Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City for Western Visayas; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City for Central Visayas; and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City and Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City, both for the Davao Region.
The DSWD’s free medicine initiatives is a project of President Rodrigo Duterte that provides P1-billion to fund medicine assistance for indigent Filipinos who cannot afford to buy medication.
Some 984 indigent Filipinos from the said regions, as of March 22, have themselves availed of the Lingap program with a total disbursement of more than P8 million, according to the department.
Lingap’s implementation is guided by the department’s Memorandum Circular No. 02, ensuring an orderly and standard utilization of the P1 billion fund by the Duterte administration.
According to Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, the Lingap program is a “very good initiative” that will go a long way in providing assistance for poor families.
“It is most heartbreaking to hear stories of impoverished Filipinos dying because they did not have the money to buy the medicine they needed to prolong their lives,” she said.
“With Lingap, we can help a large number of our [fellow Filipinos]get the medicines they need,” she added.
Under the program guidelines, indigents who are either confined in or receiving out-patient treatment from identified hospitals who are in need of prescription medicines are qualified to become beneficiaries of Lingap.
The program’s priorities are families or individuals who are indigent, vulnerable or disadvantaged; informal sectors and poor based on the DSWD list; those who are in a crisis situation assessed by social workers; government employees and contract of service workers working in the government; and beneficiaries of soldiers and police who were killed or wounded in the line of duty.
DSWD said that those who want to get of free medicine should provide a valid ID. A patient’s representative should also present an ID with a written authorization signed by the patient.