Hemodialysis patients in Puerto Princesa, regardless of their financial status, are still entitled to cash aid that will help with their regular treatments, according to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

Department head Lydia del Rosario said on Monday during the City Council’s question hour that those who want to avail of the aid program just need to present a barangay certificate and proof that they are undergoing hemodialysis.

The CSWDO is also making moves to change the voucher system to a cash advance system so it can be more accessible to those in need. 

The question hour was called for by City Council Victor Oliveros, who wanted to determine the status of the beneficiary program. The program was created via City Ordinance No. 1133, also authored by Oliveros and Vice Mayor Maria Nancy Socrates. The ordinance states that residents of Puerto Princesa undergoing hemodialysis treatment are entitled to P1,000 per treatment session. 

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“Nais kong itanong sapagkat sabi ng ating punong lungsod ay dapat mapakinabangan kaagad, ngayon at effective ang ating ordinansa,” said Oliveros.

Del Rosario explained that though the program is still being availed by city residents, the main problem that patients encounter is the voucher system. This means that patients get a piece of paper from the CSWDO and present it to the hospital where they are seeking treatment. Instead, del Rosario said that it would be easier for beneficiaries to do a cash advance and pay for their treatments directly to the treatment center.

“Para sa iba na talagang hirap na hirap, kung puwede na lang na i-cash advance na lang nila imbis na mag-voucher, sana ganoon na lang. Kasi parang mas mapapadali sila doon,” said del Rosario.

City Budget Officer Regina Cantillo also assured during the question hour that there are still funds for the cash aid program. According to Oliveros, the program was allocated a total of P2-million.

Cantillo also stated that the CSWDO can change the voucher system to a cash advance system, if they think that it will serve their constituents better.

“Hindi naman kailangang i-voucher. Kung kakailanganin nilang mag-cash advance para sa mas ikabubuti nila, depende pa rin iyon sa CSWDO,” she said.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.