Press Release
June 29, 2009


Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has allocated funds from his congressional initiative for the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City to provide medical assistance for indigent patients in the said region.

The financial assistance was contained in a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed between the Senate President and EVRMC Executive Director Alfredo De Leon today (June 29) at the Balyu-an Convention Center. Present during the signing of the MOA was Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and some local officials.

A total of P3 million was given to the regional hospital intended as medical assistance for the benefit of the poor and the needy in Tacloban and nearby areas.

The Senate President has vigorously undertaken steps to establish funds for medical programs under the various regional hospitals in the country extending medical assistance to indigent patients, noting the increased demands for basic health services in far-flung areas.

The EVRMC in Tacloban City was the first regional hospital-beneficiary of Enrile's financial assistance that was made possible through his congressional initiative. He hoped to duplicate his program in other regional hospitals in the immediate future.

Enrile's fund allocation to EVRMC is timely as concerns have been raised by the Department of Health regional office in Tacloban City to the possible rise of influenza A (H1N1) virus in Eastern Visayas .

The Senate President noted that a substantial number of indigent patients from various provinces have to travel to Metro Manila to seek medical assistance from senators, spending a significant amount which instead should have been spent for other pressing needs.

With Enrile's fund allocation for EVRMC, patients who cannot afford the high costs of medical treatment and medicines would no longer have to go to Metro Manila , particularly to the Senate, but may go directly to the regional hospital and seek the needed medical attention and treatment.

The Public Assistance Center (PAC) of the Senate shall be in-charge of the implementation of the program to ensure that the funds are judiciously utilized solely for the benefit of the indigent patients in the region.

PAC has been in existence for almost nine years now and its mandate is to attend to constituents of senators who request assistance in the form of medicines, medical care, transportation, legal assistance, job placement and referrals. It was created on Oct. 21, 2001.

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