Baguio dialysis patients association holds induction program

BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Dialysis Patients and Partners Association Inc. held its induction program last Aug. 20 with city officials led by Rep. Marquez Go, Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. as guests.

Inducted were Milagros Lacdao, president; Maribel Cruz, vice president; Charity Montellana and Gray Binay-an, secretaries; Gemma Paz Sibaen and Delia Ogas, treasurers; Mario Endrade, Benito Gonzalesm Jones Buteng, business managers; Rio Recile and Liza Galong, public relations offiers; and Dominador Perez, Dorothy Co-oy, Thelma Biadno and Magdalena Orpilla, board of trustees. Former president Ramon Dacawi serves as the group's adviser.

In their messages, the three city officials committed to help the association raise more funds for the implementation of projects and activities aimed at raising funds for the medical needs of the patient-members now numbering 189.

Go who proposed a bill in the House of Representatives mandating one national government hospital in every province or region to establish a dialysis unit and providing free dialysis treatment to poor patients or those whose combined annual family income does not exceed P72,000.

He said the proposal has been approved in principle and is up for consolidation by the technical working group before it will be returned to the committee in charge for referral to the committee on appropriations.

He said that if approved, the bill together with that of Senator Sonny Angara which seeks to require government hospitals to provide free dialysis treatment for indigent patients whose combined family income does not exceed P30,000 annually will be tackled in a bicameral conference.

"We hope that both bills will be approved in both the House and the Senate before the end of the year for inclusion in the budget hearing," Go said.

Go said around P1 billion will be needed to implement the free dialysis program.

He said with the bills, they hope to pool together all the funds being provided by the Philhealth and the Department of Health, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to form a unified fund to provide a year-round free dialysis for the patients.

This same scheme is being advocated by the association which in collaboration with the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club and the Philippine Information Agency Cordillera launched a signature campaign for free dialysis this year. The campaign has drawn over 40,000 signatures which were submitted to the President, Vice Presidents, Senate, House and other concerned offices

Go who was visibly touched by the plight of the patients also promised to help the patients scrambling for funds for their treatment.

"Walang dapat na hindi mabigyan ng treatment. At any given time kung walang wala na kayong pang-dialysis just go to my office and we will do our best to help you," he said.

He said it is important that patients be given physical and mental attention but the prevention of the disease should be given equal importance.

"Take care of yourselves and get all the treatments you need. We will help you but please also help in the prevention of the disease for instance in your family, make sure that you prevent other members from contracting the same illness," he said.

Mayor Domogan for his part committed to increase the cash assistance being given to the association annually from the proceeds of his golf-for-a-cause to help more patients.

His office continues to support causes for the growing number of dialysis patients in the city by helping facilitate requests for financial assistance from senators and congressman as facilitated by the mayor's private secretary Ryan Mang-usan.

Councilor Yangot also promised to mount more events aimed at raising fund for the patients as what he did during his birthday celebration this year where instead of giving presents, guests were asked to donate an amount for the benefit of the dialysis patients. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

 
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STATEMENT IN REPLY TO THE PUBLISHED OPEN LETTER OF BCDA PRESIDENT and CEO ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA

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Speech Delivered by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan during the Cordillera Month Closing Ceremony
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