NEGROS Occidental Fifth District Representative Marilou Arroyo filed five House bills as the 18th Congress opened Wednesday, July 3.
Most of the bills focus on rural health and the welfare of senior citizens and persons with disability (PWDs).
Leading the bills she submitted is the “Dialysis Center Act” that seeks to require all national, regional, and provincial government hospitals to establish a dialysis ward and provide free treatment to indigent patients.
“The accessibility and availability of dialysis centers in the country remain limited. Advanced hospital and medical equipment and facilities are found mostly in highly urbanized cities. End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients from rural areas have to travel all the way to these urban cities just to receive the treatment they need. In many cases, indigent patients hardly even get a session of dialysis,” Arroyo said.
She added that dialysis patients, who need to undergo two to three treatments a week for a total of 144 sessions a year, are 54 sessions short of the free dialysis provided by PhilHealth where monthly treatments can cost up to P20,000 to P30,000.
The objective of the Dialysis Center Act is to support the Universal Health Care law in providing every Filipino with comprehensive health care service, particularly when it comes to the treatment of renal disease which is one of the top ten causes of death among Filipinos.
Arroyo also filed four other bills.
Among the remaining bills filed is one that proposes a 32 percent discount on travel tax for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Another bill seeks the early release of “Centenarian” benefits and cash gifts for senior citizens 80 years and older.
In addition, Arroyo filed a bill seeking the creation of a dental unit in every rural health unit under the supervision of the Department of Health.
Lastly, Arroyo filed a bill that seeks to convert the provincial road in her district situated in Crossing Magallon, Municipality of Moises Padilla, and Biak-na Bato, Municipality of La Castellana, into a secondary national road to improve socio-economic development in the said municipalities.