• Patient dies with P250,000 debt due to PDAF suspension


    A former patient of the state-run Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has left a P250,00 debt to PGH because of the suspended release of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a lawmaker said on Tuesday.

    Rep. Dan Fernandez of Laguna province made the disclosure on the same day that he announced that the House leaders already agreed to abolish the PDAF for good, including the congressional discretion on the said fund.

    Fernandez cited that a certain Apolinaria Beato, who sought his assistance for her hospital bills thru the Laguna lawmaker’s PDAF, died with a P250,000 unpaid dues in PGH because Fernandez’s PDAF is not enough to shoulder such bill.

    Fernandez said that the Beato died after her grand daughter, who also sought assistance from the Laguna lawmaker’s PDAF, also died of a heart ailment.

    “The bill of her granddaughter in the Philippine Heart Center, who unfortunately died, reached P300,000. After that, my PDAF allocation for government hospitals was reduced to P50,000. When the granddaughter died, the grandmother was also hospitalized and she had to undergo head surgery. She died of complications and the bill reached P300,000,” Fernandez said in a chance interview.

    “And since I only have P50,000 [PDAF] left, I appeal to the PGH to shoulder the P250,000 in the meantime. In the past, hospitals are lenient because they know that the patient’s payment from our PDAF will be eventually released to them. But now that the release of PDAF funding is suspended, we are helpless,” Fernandez added.

    Fernandez was referring to President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s move of suspending the release of PDAF for the second half of 2013 as a result of the National Bureau of Investigation probe on the alleged P10 billion PDAF that went to bogus nongovernment organizations owned by Janet Napoles.

    Moreover, the Commission on Audit also reported that P6 billion worth of PDAF were funneled to 82 questionable NGOs from 2007 to 2009.

    Beato’s remains lie in Barangay Kaingin in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna and her P250,000 unpaid hospital bill still stands.

    “Because of the balance, we can’t get her death certificate,” Fernandez added. LLANESCA T. PANTI



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    1. Interesting fact I learned about the Philippines: hospitals can detain you indefinitely until you pay your bill.

    2. Is it the responsibility of the congressman to pay bills for every sick person in his or her district?