PCSO resumes fund assistance to patients

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Friday, March 14, 2014


TO THE deep relief of kidney patients at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has resumed processing of applications for fund support from those undergoing treatment at the top regional health facility here.

The branch office staff headed by Dr. Ernieli Dancel worked out the resumption of the issuance of fund support, through guarantee letters, to BGHMC patients in coordination with the PCSO main office in Quezon City, given the urgent need of close to 200 undergoing twice or thrice-a-week hemodialysis treatment at the regional hospital.

Processing was suspended in the last quarter of last year pending submission of reports from the hospital on previous grants and setting in place of an endowment fund for the BGHMC, PCSO officials earlier explained in response to a letter from city mayor Mauricio Domogan on behalf of about 180 kidney patients being served by BGHMC.

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In his letter, the mayor noted the BGHMC draws the most number of dialysis patients among health facilities hereabouts including those coming from Region 1, because it charges the lowest rate of P2,200 per treatment session.

"The PCSO-Baguio branch has been approving an average of five applications for fund support a day for BGHMC patients since it resumed processing our requests," noted Mary Grace Binay-an, a 23-yer old former Sangguniang Kabataan chair of Irisan Barangay here who has been on dialysis for five years now.

"It's a relief, specially so that it's now more difficult to access other means of support with the scrapping of the Priority Development Assistance Fund of members of Congress that included aid to indigent patients," said teacher Juliet Bagano, whose husband Edwin is on hemodialysis.

PCSO chair Margarita Juico had the Baguio branch opened last year in response to a request from mayor Domogan and a resolution adopted by the city council last April for the setting of district offices in the Cordillera and in the autonomous region in Mindanao which had no PCSO field service outlets.

Juico recently wrote city vice mayor Daniel Farinas, saying that aside from the PCSO branch established at the Post Office Loop here, another was also opened at the municipal hall in Bontoc, Mt. Province, "specifically to address the needs of patients from Baguio City and nearby areas and the Cordillera Administrative Region, respectively."

The Sanggunian resolution authored by city councilor Peter Fianza pointed out that as per PCSO website, the Cordillera and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao did not have a single district or regional office to serve patients within the said regions.

Following the decentralization of PCSO services, patients from the Cordillera who used to line up for fund support at the PCSO main office in Quezon City had to go down to the b ranch office in Urdaneta, Pangassinan which is basically for patients in Region 1. (Ramon Dacawi)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 15, 2014.

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