IP-Muslim Shelter for SPMC watchers, runners approved

Southern Philippines Medical Center
Southern Philippines Medical CenterSPMC/Facebook

THE 20th Davao City Council approved on third and final reading the Indigenous People (IP)- Muslim Shelter for Watchers and Runners of IP and Muslim patients, on Tuesday morning, February 27, 2024, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod. 

Councilor Rodolfo Mande, in a media interview, revealed that around P42 million was allocated for the building that is set to be constructed at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) for the IP-Muslim Shelter for watchers and runners. 

The budget was approved last December 2, 2023.

“Kini is for the benefit sa mga IP and Muslim nato nga mga sister nga dili ka-afford labi na sa hisgutanan dira sa hospital, labi na dira sa SPMC (This is for the benefit of our IP and Muslim sisters and brothers that cannot afford the hospital expenses, particularly at the SPMC),” Mande said.

Watchers are family members of the patient who take care of the patient inside the hospital, aside from the care provided by the medical practitioners in the hospital. The need for watchers specifically in public hospitals is vital due to the shortage of medical workforce. 

Meanwhile, runners similar to watchers are family members of the patients. They are individuals in charge of purchasing the needed medicine, food, or equipment for the patient. 

Oftentimes, runners are in charge of processing the needed documents of the patient to ask for help from government agencies that provide medical assistance. 

Any member of the 11 major tribes: Ata, Maguindanaon, Matigsalug, Bagobo Klata, Maranao, Obo Manuvu, Bagobo-Tagabawa, Tasug, Sama, Iranun, and Kagan can avail of the services that will be provided in the shelter in accordance with the ordinance. 

Mande added that IP members who do not reside in the city may also approach the shelter when there are vacant beds. However, the shelter will prioritize IPs who are residents of Davao. If there are no vacancies, the shelter may refer them to the other shelters available in SPMC.

The shelter has around 70 beds and will be offering food interventions for the watchers and runners of IP patients. It will also have desks such as the City Mayor’s Office (CMO), Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) office, City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and Local Civil Registrar (LCR) among others.

Mande said that they are constructing a separate ordinance for a budget of around P10 million for the offices, services, and food intervention

“Ang mga runners and watchers dili na mupila diri sa ubos, dili na mupila sa City Hall or diri, naa na didto tanan maong gitawag namo siya ug one-stop-shop kay tanan nga panginahanglan sa pasyente tanan didto na buhaton (The runner and watchers will no longer go here [Sangguniang Panlungsod] , they will no longer line up at the City Hall or here, because we already have everything there, that is why we are calling it a one-stop-shop),” he said.

Mande expressed that they collaborated with the City Engineer's Office (CEO) for the construction of the shelter which will start this 2024 and they already scheduled the groundbreaking ceremony for it.        

The creation of the shelter arose when the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative office conducted a consultation among the IP and Muslim communities about their situation at SPMC, particularly those who lack the financial capacity to rent rooms and are staying in the halls and stairs of the hospital. 

The shelter will be called the IP-Muslim KAMOTT-IKASANNA and will be constructed within the compound of SPMC, covering an area of around 200 square meters. RGP


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