DSWD to ink MOA with 2 hospitals for free medicines

THE DEPARTMENT of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is eyeing an agreement with two public hospitals following President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive for free medicines.

Elsewhere in the country, the DSWD will also partner with hospitals in Luzon and Visayas, such as the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, in a press briefing in Malacanang, said the DSWD is eyeing MOAs with the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City and the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum.

The agency is also eyeing MOAs with major drug stores but these have not been identified yet.

The funds have not yet been downloaded to the agency, Taguiwalo said but she clarified that the assistance would not be in the form of cash but through guarantee letters.

The DSWD has been tasked to assist qualified indigent patients to validate their prescriptions.

The agency would then sign a guarantee letter to the hospital and drug store so that all the expenses would be taken care of by the government.

President Duterte ordered the DSWD to draft the guidelines for the assistance program.

Duterte earlier this year said he would be giving P1 billion from the donation of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

Pagcor donated P5 billion to the Office of the President as its counterpart for the war on drugs.

Another P1 billion from the P5 billion has been allocated for in-house, government-run rehabilitation programs for reforming drug addicts.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Duterte administration also treats the drug addiction problem as a health issue instead of just that of crime.

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