DAVAO CITY, Philippines— The Davao City Council extended its session as they tackled the revision of the 16 –year old Memorandum of Agreement between the city’s Lingap Para sa Mahirap (Lingap) program and the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) after the alleged use of fake required documents by applicants during the process.
Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, also the chairperson of Committee of Health proposed to amend some provisions in the MOA between the Lingap and SPMC as they discovered the alleged fake prescription and fake signatures of doctors submitted by applicants.
“We want to discuss other safeguards that we still need to put so that this will not happen again,” she said.
Villafuerte said that the fake Lingap requirements for availing free services in SPMC were presented during the committee level meeting.
The Lingap Para sa Mahihirap or Lingap is a program under the City Mayor’s Office which provides financial assistance to residents here.
An applicant may avail hospital financial assistance and funeral or burial assistance from the city government. A patient may also avail of medical assistance for medicines, hospital bills, laboratory request and other medical services. Medical check-ups, for outpatient or admitted patients and emergency cases are also covered by Lingap.
“In the past practice, there are barangay liaison officers who represent the patient and the relative,” she said.
But Villafuerte refused to give the name and position of the barangay personnel involved in using fake requirements.
“We don’t want this program to waste our money in fake prescriptions or fake orders of laboratory,” Villafuerte said.
She added that there were some who uses fake guarantee letters from the City Mayor’s Office which is one of the documents that an applicant submits to avail of the services.
Villafuerte said there are those who sell the guarantee letters.
“And we hope that we will be able to take them up again so that we can assist the City Mayor’s office, the Lingap office,” she said.
The Councilor then said that in this program for indigent already have suggestions that there should be an ordinance regarding Lingap and other provisions to be made to implement the proposed amendments.
Aside from the use of fake requirements, Villafuerte said the SPMC would like to clarify the budget of Lingap for SPMC patients and the requirements of the beneficiaries.
“They want to know if there will be a sealing of the guarantee letter, how much do we give per patient and what are the basis of being one,” she said.
Indigent patients who avail of the Lingap are validated by the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) “who is the one to deal with what patient becomes an indigent patient and so that’s when we give more (assistance) to them.”
Villafuerte said that during the committee meeting, SPMC personnel mentioned that if the patient is indigent then he does not have to pay for any hospital bill.
As of now, the City Council decided have a thorough review of the MOA to amend some provisions together with the committee chairperson of finance, ethics and good government, and the committee of social services. (davaotoday.com)