By: Danilo Flores II
The next president of the Republic of the Philippines should put healthcare programs on top of the list of significant agenda. In the 2016 Presidential race, five contenders promised to ensure that all Filipinos must have a 100-percent Philhealth coverage. The present administration of President Digong aims to decongest the current specialty hospitals in Metro Manila. All provinces across the Philippines must at least have tertiary hospitals equipped with Intensive Care Units. If this is not possible in the current administration’s term, how about the next?
Youtube video by; Imelda Marcos
[VIDEO]: Imelda Marcos Heart Center opening. President Marcos narrates that when he wed, former first lady Imelda Marcos, he only asked for her to take care of his heart – but she ended up taking care of the hearts of Filipinos!
The Role of Local Government Units
As mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991, the Local Government Units must enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to attain full development as self-reliant communities that contribute to the achievement of national goals. Features of the LGC include the relinquishing of responsibilities of the national government in favor of the government units to efficiently mobilize their own resources.
How Effective are the LGUs Delivering Healthcare Services?
Currently, the local government units in provincial, cities, municipalities down to barangay level has become inefficient in delivering basic healthcare services to the countryside. This can be primarily attributed to financial constraints. There is a great lack of budget for spending on infrastructure, purchase of medicines, ambulance and personnel. The sad reality is that LGU’s is not effective in providing healthcare services compared to the central government.
Alternative Source of Income
Hospitals in the provinces most likely become income generating projects of the Local Government Units. Such hospitals are now comparative to various private hospitals wherein patients could not be admitted without down payment. The LGU’s cannot afford to maintain the salaries and wages of the physicians, nurses, and staff without asking payments from the patients, defeating the very purpose of its creation.
Realistic Platform: Do it the Marcos Way
During the presidential race, the current administration pushed healthcare programs as one of its main platforms. The first six months of the term of President Digong proves that the President’s priority program is the war on drugs. Such advocacy has become controversial due to issues on extrajudicial killings. All Filipinos hope that he make good on his promise of establishing healthcare programs to uplift the overall health of the Filipino people. If not, at least the next president should make this a priority. Who’s that going to be? The current Vice President who is a neophyte in the executive level or the son, of the healthcare initiators in the country, Bongbong Marcos?