PCOO vows to support media’s call for free dialysis for the poor

BAGUIO CITY-- The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has vowed to help the media here in its initiative to push for free dialysis treatment for indigent kidney patients.

PCOO Assistant Secretary for Operations and Special Concerns Atty. Marie Rafael-Banaag in an interview with members of the Baguio media said, "we will cooperate with you and readily assist to link your program to the national government."

She said that the PCOO has been assisting and guiding patients, especially those from the underprivileged sector who are seeking financial or medical assistance.

Banaag relayed that the department is working with the Department of Health and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) through the gaming corporations' funds for health. This is apart from the assistance provided by the department to allow those from the far-flung communities to reach medical facilities and back, if they are unable to provide for their transportation needs, just to assure that they get the treatment and medical test needed.

"Our President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte is very supportive to the cause of the marginalized. He doesn't want the poor's health needs being set aside just because they do not have the money to finance their needs," Banaag told media here.

She talked about the assistance they gave to the residents at the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) where they, together with government agencies, provided for the medical and other needs of the inmates.

The official also lauded the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcaster Club (BCBC), the umbrella organization of the Baguio-based media, which is initiating the move to urge the government to make dialysis treatment free for the underprivileged.

It was learned that through a past president who is undergoing dialysis treatment, the group asked local governments in the region to approve resolutions asking the national government's declaration of free dialysis treatment nationwide for the poor.

"That is a good move from the media. We appreciate that you are initiating it. We will surely help your group bring it to the national government," she said.

Banaag was in the city to administer the oath of office of the newly elected officers of the more than 50-year-old media organization in the Cordilleras.

Source: Philippines News Agency