Saturday, September 21, 2019

Nalzaro: Politics even in times of emergency

THE family of Rafael Enad of Carcar City will lodge a complaint today before the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) against the Carcar City Emergency Hospital administration for refusing to transport him to a private hospital in Naga City because he has no Purok Identification Card (ID) issued by Mayor Nice Apura.

Edwin, Rafael’s son, who used to work as a disc jockey for Barangay 99.5 dyRT-FM of Radio GMA Network under the name “Papa Raul Chito,” said their father, 69, suffered a stroke last Thursday. His siblings brought him to the Carcar Emergency Hospital but since he was in serious condition, the family decided to transfer him to the South General Hospital in Naga.

The family requested an ambulance but they were denied because the patient has no Purok ID. Edwin’s younger brother even went to the Office of the Mayor to personally request the mayor for the use of the ambulance. But he was not entertained. He even presented their father’s senior citizen and voter’s ID as proof that the latter is a resident and voter of the city. But just the same the request was ignored. Apura’s staff insisted that they needed a Purok ID for their request to be acted upon since this was the mayor’s instruction.

They were later allowed to use the City’s multivan but only after Edwin’s brother raised his voice. A staff even challenged him to report the matter to Duterte’s direct text line, 8888.

A purok, or a zone, is a political subdivision of a barangay. It is the smallest unit of governance led by a barangay councilor or anybody designated by the mayor or barangay captain. It is not, however, officially considered as a local government unit.

A purok is typically composed of a few households depending on the particular geographical location and cluster of houses. If created and given mandate by an ordinance of the barangay, municipality or city, a purok can perform government functions under the coordination and supervision of their local officials.

Although, the creation of the purok system has been encourage by local government units (LGUs), it has been used by some incumbent politicians as a screening committee before any request from the barangay level reaches the town and the city’s local chief executives. And those issued IDs like in the case of Carcar are only those identified with the powers that be.

Maybe Rafael is not an Apura supporter because he doesn’t have a purok ID. This is how politics comes into play. Even in an emergency situation, you can’t avail yourself of any services if you are with the other party. Mao ni naka-porke aning sobrang pamulitika. Bisan naay tawong himatyon pero dili gani supporter sa naa sa gahum, dili gyud atimanon.

Last year, a Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Danao City declared the creation of a purok system in San Francisco, Camotes illegal following a petition by some residents there because it is used by incumbent politicians for political purposes. The declaration, though, was only applicable to the San Francisco case and not binding to other LGUs.
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