The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expanded its Libreng Gamot Para Sa Masa or Lingap sa Masa Medicine Assistance Program, which now covers prosthetics, assistive devices, laboratory procedures and medical supplies.

Carmela Duron, Informaiton Officer of DSWD XI, said the new coverage is provided under Memorandum Circular No. 14, Series of 2017 which also renames the program to Lingap at Gabay Para sa May Sakit (Lingap Sa Masa).

The Libreng Gamot program is being offered at Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City and the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City.

The SPMC and the DRMC are just two of the hospitals in Mindanao where DSWD is engaged with such program.

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But DSWD Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat said district and provincial hospitals and other regional hospitals operated by the government would soon implement the program to cater to local residents qualified in the program.

The program has expanded to include immediate family members of government contract of service workers as well as government workers.

Duron said those eligible in the program are indigents, government workers and immediate family, contract of service workers in the government and immediate family, wounded soldiers, and beneficiaries of soldiers who were killed or wounded in action.

The P1 billion budget for the program comes from the Office of the President’s Socio- Civic Projects Fund. DSWD desks have been established in identified partner hospitals to carry out the program in regions NCR, 3, 6, 7 and 11.

The Libreng Gamot program is the realization of President Duterte’s promise to give free medicines to indigent Filipinos. This shows the President’s awareness of the high cost of medicines and the numerous indigent patients who cannot afford to buy prescription drugs.

Duron said the individuals who would avail of the program should present original or certified true copy of the following: 1) any valid ID of the patient; 2) if patient has a representative, any valid ID of the representative and written authorization of the patient; 3) doctor’s prescription issued within the last three months; and 4) certificate of indigency or barangay certification.

“This is distinct and separate from the existing DSWD Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) which is dispensed in the regional offices of DSWD throughout the country,” Jabagat said. (LCM/PNA)

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