BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Bacolod Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia, who is also the president of the League of Cities in the Philippines, recently raised concern over the non-payment of PhilHealth obligations during a recent meeting with three Cabinet secretaries.
Leonardia said he pointed out to secretaries Francisco Duque III of the Department of Health, Eduardo Año – DILG, and Carlito Galvez of the National Task Force against Covid-19 that the non-payment would lead to demoralization.
He said this will also led hospitals “to become dysfunctional and will affect doctors and nurses, who are all vital components of our health system.”
“We cannot allow this to happen, hence we are appealing to the national government to prioritize this matter and pay PhilHealth’s dues, especially to hospitals in Bacolod,” he added.
Philippine Health Association president, Dr. Jaime Almora, said the unsettled debts on the Covid-19 reimbursements of PhilHealth are among the biggest challenges faced today by public and private hospitals.
Aside from issues of non-payment of obligations to hospitals, Leonardia also raised the matter of contact tracers because it is expected that, by the end of June, the budget may be terminated.
Año explained that under the Bayanihan 2, the expiry date may come soon, but he promised that they will find ways and means so that the contact tracing units given to local government units may continue to be in place beyond June 30.
About 33,729 residents of Bacolod City have been inoculated against Covid-19, as of yesterday, executive director Em Ang of the Emergency Operations Center said.
Ang said that 139 residents received their second dose of the vaccines at the SMX Convention Center yesterday while 69 others got their second jabs in Barangay Banago.
SECOND JABS ONGOING
She said the EOC and the Covid-19 Vaccination Council, both chaired by Leonardia, will continue to administer the second jabs at the SMX Convention Center until this Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Aside from Ang, also supervising the vaccination rollout at the SMX Convention Center is City Health officer-in-charge, Dr. Edwin Miraflor Jr.
Ang also reported the inoculation of 463 residents at Capitolville, Riverwalk, and Santa Clara subdivisions in Bacolod, from May 16 to 23.
Ang said that as cases of Covid-19 continue to surge, vaccination will be an extremely important tool in strengthening the city’s response to the pandemic, when used in combination with minimum health protocols and other preventive measures. She said one strategy for ramping up inoculation is by conducting vaccination drives in barangays and subdivisions.*