Friday, July 24, 2015

After Senior Citizens, 
Move for mandatory Philhealth 
membership for PWDs pushed

TAGBILARAN CITY, July 23 (PIA)--A key official of the Bohol Federation of Disabled Persons Inc. (BFDPI) calls on for support to the house bill that seeks mandatory Philhealth membership and thus medical coverage to persons with disabilities (PWD) and children with special needs (CSN), in line with the week's advocacy to grant marginalized sectors insured rehabilitation, self -development and reliance. 

Speaking at the weekly Kapihan sa PIA on the same day the country's sublime paralytic Apolinario Mabini was born and upon whose birth week the country commemorates National Disability Prevention, BFDPI President Mateo Quilas argued that a mandatory coverage "will go a long way to help these less privileged persons," meaning persons with disabilities and children with special needs. 

Quilas, who founded the BFDPI and has received various awards for his advocacy including a most recent Governor's Award for social service handed to him by Gov. Edgar Chatto July 22, sees that a mandatory Philhealth membership would be an alleviation for families who are nurturing PWDs and CSN. 

In Bohol, only a very few percentage of PWDs are earning and has the capacity to pay for contributions, so that when they need medical services, the family would suffer all the more for cash payments. 

This too as Bohol PWD head who is sight impaired, said they have attained around 70% in their goal to register all PWDs and CSN as well as categorize them as to their potential work skills so that trainings can be pushed to capacitate these people and improve on their self reliance. 

The house of representatives now hold pending two bills which both seek to help PWDs get mandatory government health care membership, one version even going to the length of Philhealth not exacting the first year of contributions after signing up as Philhealth members. 

House Bill 5959 seeks mandatory Philhealth membership to PWDs and CSN to further help self employed PWDs in their pursuit to become productive citizens, and to assist parents of CSN get treatments and special services to their kids needing attention. 

An almost similar proposal is also in House Bill 5012, which seeks to give Philhealth benefits exclusively for indigent, abandoned and orphaned Filipino PWDs. 

Both house bills pending at the House Committee on Health came at the heels of the President's signing of Republic Act 10645 which provides for automatic Philhealth benefits to Filipino senior citizens. (rac/PIA7/Bohol) 

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14 road rehab segments: 
Australia's gift to Bohol 

TAGBILARAN CITY, July 23 (PIA)--On the 161st commemoration of its becoming an independent province, Boholanos received a gift so meaningful that they need not worry anymore about safety on earthquake damaged roads in Bohol. 

The gift, coming for the Australians was the 14 segments of rehabilitated roads which critically reconnected villages made unsafe and inaccessible by the October 15 2013 earthquake. 

And to hand in the gift, no less that Australian Ambassador to the Philippines William Bill Tweddell came and logged his 6th official visit to Bohol to join the Boholanos in the commemoration of the historic milestone. 

Through a project called the Provincial Roads Management Facility (PRMF), the Australian government poured in P240.8 million (6.8M Aus$) in assistance which Bohol counter-parted with 12 % equity to rehabilitate a total of 121.45 kilometers in Bohol. 

After a devastating earthquake rocked Bohol in 2013, the local government department sent request for assistance and the Australian Government responded by sending in a team of engineers from its PRMS Program. 

The PRMF team, along with the Department of Interior and Local Government as well as Bohol through its Provincial engineers Office immediately conducted a rapid assessment or damaged provincial roads which have been crucial links and access to get services and goods to key communities. 

According to Governor Edgar Chatto, who personally received the framed brass plaque engraved with Bohol map indicating the rehabilitated road sections, in record time, or 100 days after the assessment, the PEO with the PRMS team designed and prepared the plans and documents for the roads rehabilitation. 

Rehabilitated road sections include Cahayag-(Tubigon)-Cabanugan (San Isidro), Alegria-Baang-Hagbuaya (Catignian)-Hanopol (Balilihan) Road, Poblacion (Inabanga)-Lawis Road, Inabanga-Sagbayan via Lapacan-Magtangtang (Danao) Road, Hinawanan (Loay Junction)-Concepcion Road (Loboc-Sikatuna Road), Sikatuna-Sevilla (via Cambu-ac) Road, Rizal (Catigbian)-San Isidro Road, Candumayao (Catigbian)-Cabanugan (San Isidro) Road, Dimiao-Oac (Bilar) Road. 

Antequera-Balilihan via Dorol (Balilihan) Road, Abatan-Agahay-Aghao-Toril (Maribojoc) Road, Calape-Panggangan Road, Tajang-Sandingan (Loon) Road and Quinoguitan-Sevilla-Hanopol (Balilihan) Road, according to the records from the office of Engr. Gavino Redulla. 

Over the development, Ambassador Tweddell, in a press statement called Boholanos "resilient and said he was impressed with how quickly Boholanos are back on its feet following calamities." 

"They really take to heart the call to "build back better" that we are so proud to be their partner towards prosperity," Tweddell said. 

"Road Reforms program in the province if Bohol is a major breakthrough in local governance and his is made possible through the collaboration and partnership between the Philippine Government and the Australian Government through the DILG and Bohol is very thankful for the support from our partners, Gov. Chatto said separately. 

The PRMF is a 56-year P81 million development cooperation initiative between the governments of Australia and the Philippines. Over time, the country continent also has a long standing relationship with Bohol, with P361.3 million fund spent for physical infrastructure and P2.44 million for capacity development.

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