PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday declared that the “padrino system” in health services for the poor has ended as he vowed to help local government officials needing health support programs from the national government.
Speaking before officials of the Health department, Philippine Health Insurance Corp and various local government units in Metro Manila, the President said his administration was successful in stamping out “patronage politics” especially in availing health services.
The President launched the Alaga Ka program which aims to disseminate health projects for the poor.
Unlike in the past when people had to queue to avail themselves of free government services, Aquino said the new program aims to educate the 14.7 million poor families about the services offered at no or very little cost by the Department of Health and Philhealth.
He said the public must maximize the benefits they can derive from these health programs, including micronutrient supplements, maternal and neonatal care package and family planning. He added that the sick can get free medical treatment in government hospitals.
With the president during the launch were Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Education Secretary, Brother Armin Luistro, PhilHealth President and CEO, Alex Padilla and other Philihealth and local government officials.
Saying “information is power,” Aquino said many Filipinos are still unaware of the various health programs being offered by the government. Because of this, the ALAGA KA program aims to achieve the widest dissemination of existing projects in the health sector.