By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 01:34 AM July 11, 2021
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque dared Boholano cooperatives to unite now more than ever to grab the opportunity to fill in the gap left unserved by the scant hospitals and medical institutions, as the country implements the Universal Health Care Law.
Speaking during the Consultative Meeting with Cooperatives and Farmer Leaders at the Modala Beach Resort Conference Hall, July 10, 2021, Spokesperson Harry Roque banked his argument on the Universal Health Care Law (UHCL).
The UHCL allows for three dialysis sessions a week, which technically is free dialysis as provided by law, but the current reality shows that there are not enough dialysis machines available.
This is where the cooperatives can go as the government has already assured (free dialysis) payments, the Malacanang spokesperson cited.
Three dialysis sessions per week for persons with renal failure is 12 dialysis sessions per month and by 12 months, this is an assured 144 sessions paid for by the government to Filipinos as provided by law.
Roque said this is a golden opportunity for cooperatives as the government has assured a ready source of revenues.
If we help put up other businesses, why do we not cooperate on our health with the government as our client? Roque cast the big poser to the tenured coop members and farmer leaders representing peoples’ organizations across Bohol gathered at the beachfront hall of Modala.
Roque’s challenge in fact went beyond simply putting up dialysis facilities into the bolder uniting towards the establishment of cooperative hospitals.
We can unite and put up hospitals with private paying wards, there is accredit facility that offers 1% interest, Roque, whose candidacy in the 2019 elections was foiled by health issues, pushed.
According to the former Kabayan partylist congressman, the World Health Organization (WHO) which came up with a hospital bed to population ratio, showed that the Philippines is still in need of 52,000 beds.
Moreover, the implementation of the Mandanas Rule by next year opens up more opportunities for cooperative groups to get a share of the 37% more Internal Revenue Allotment for local government units, Roque said.
Cooperatives need to benefit from this, Roque, who is an international human rights lawyer, upped the dare for Bohol civil society groups to unite.
The former congressman also opened up the possibility of coops venturing into ocean going fishing vessels, and move away from the overfished marginal fishery areas to the rich fishing grounds in the pacific and the disputed islands.
“Now more than ever, we need to cooperate and use our savings as a capital for more investments,” the palace spokesperson ended his keynote address at the consultative meeting hosted by Cooperative Development Authority Administrator and Chairman of the Board Benjie Oliva. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)