The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) memorandum of agreement (MOA ) on the issuance of guarantee letters with a new set of medical and pharmaceutical companies will ensure that taxpayers’ money is protected under the agency’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.
DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian underscored the value of the guarantee letters (GL) under the MOA with the new set of service providers during the ceremonial signing held at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City on Saturday (November 11).
“Because it’s a guarantee letter, because of you, nase-safeguard ang pera ng taumbayan [we safeguard the taxpayers’ money]. Because when they come to us and they say it’s medicine, instead of giving cash, we write a guarantee letter. Wala silang choice kundi ibili ng gamot [They can’t use it for other purposes other than what is written in the GL]. Iyon ang beauty ng [That is what good about] guarantee letter,” Sec. Gatchalian said in his speech.
The guarantee letters, Sec. Gatchalian said, will help ensure that the assistance and support from the government, through the DSWD, will go directly to its beneficiaries for the intended purpose.
“Kapag sinabing para sa gamot, dapat para sa gamot. Kapag sinabing para sa hearing aid, dapat para sa hearing aid,” the DSWD chief pointed out.
(When you say it is for medicine, it is intended for medicine. When you say it’s for hearing aid, it’s for hearing aid.)
The DSWD secretary emphasized that the signed MOA and the partnership with the service providers guarantee that taxpayers’ money is protected.
“The guarantee letter is a foolproof mechanism to prevent system loss,” Sec. Gatchalian said.
During the ceremonial signing of the MOA, Secretary Gatchalian formalized and strengthened the agency’s partnership with 25 new hospitals, medical centers, and pharmaceutical firms to expand the services and benefits under the AICS program of the DSWD.
Secretary Gatchalian, in his speech, stressed the importance of private and government partnerships in delivering services for DSWD clients who are seeking medical assistance and support.
“We know that helping the poor, and the vulnerable cannot be done by the government alone…Despite all the stories about working with the government, you still took up the challenge and wanted to sign up with us,” Sec. Gatchalian pointed out.
Under the agreement, the service providers will recognize the duly approved and authenticated guarantee letter (GL) from the DSWD to cover the cost of hospitalizations, medicines, and assistive devices requested by the AICS clients.
For its part, the Department will ensure that it has funds available for the services that will be granted or rendered by the service providers to the AICS beneficiaries.
DSWD Undersecretary for Operations Group Monina Josefina Romualdez noted that in 2022, the Department provided financial assistance amounting to more than Php 651 million in the form of GLs to provide augmentation on the cost of the hospitalizations, medicines, and assistive devices of the beneficiaries.
“The issuance of GL means the delivery of the needed assistance through the presence of partners or the service providers,” Usec. Romualdez said.
Sec. Gatchalian and Usec. Romualdez were joined by Assistant Secretary for Operations Group Ada Colico and Program Management Bureau Director Miramel Laxa during the ceremonial MOA signing.
The DSWD officials expressed their gratitude to the present set of service providers for partnering with the Department in assisting eligible AICS clients with their medical needs through mutual obligations and responsibilities.
Participating hospitals in the MOA include the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Novaliches General Hospital, Grace General Hospital, Qualimed Hospital, Skyline Hospital, and UHBI-Paranaque Doctors Hospital.
The pharmaceutical firms which signed the MOA were Mercury Drug Corporation, Drugstores Association of the Philippines, Medinifinity Inc., Keminfinity Inc., JCS Pharmaceutical, Haran Distributor, Orthofix Medical Supply Trading, and Madriaga Hearing Aid.
Representatives from Capitol Medical Center, The Medical City Medical Center, Philippine Oncologist Center, Core Renal Care, St. John Biocare, St. Josef Renal Care Foundation, Premier Medical Center, Olivarez Medical Center, and Unihealth Medical Center were also present.