No more cash in city’s coffers?
By Leonardo Micua
THE city of Dagupan may not afford to send a disaster response team to any of the calamity-stricken areas in the Visayas or Mindanao like what Mayor Isko Moreno did only a few days ago, but the city can certainly afford to share a bit of its resources there to help make some lives survive the crisis even for a few, albeit temporarily.
This was the proposal of Councilor Dennis Canto in the last session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod before Christmas noting that the big swath of destruction exacted by super Typhoon “Odette” left many families dislocated, without shelter above their heads, clean water to drink, electricity and food to eat.
Canto asked the Dagupan City government to allocate any money left from its disaster response fund to buy food items, medicines, bottled water and used clothings to be sent to any of the affected areas as the city’s humanitarian response to the disaster of epic proportion, of magnitude comparable only to the destruction left by Super Typhoon Yolanda to Samar and Leyte a few years ago.
But Canto’s appeal seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. Mayor Brian Lim has not announced any move or plan to send any help to the calamity stricken areas in the Visayas and Mindanao, neither has he sent a proposal to the SP for the appropriation of a fund to support relief operations in the Vis-Min areas.
His deafening silence could be an indication of the nagging suspicion that the city has no more money left in its coffers, is true.
Didn’t the mayor’s office tap every available money in the vault, including those held in trust and funding for unimplemented projects of the national government, just to fund his Supplemental Budget No. 2?
Even the remaining balance of the fund won by the city government during the administration of Belen Fernandez as the nation’s most child-friendly city among independent component cities and the financial incentives it bagged for repeatedly being awarded the seal of local governance were added to fund Lim’s supposed fourth quarter of the year programs and projects, among them is the repair of the Magsaysay Fish Market.
And what a shame if those funds earned through the good performance of the previous administration will just be wasted on inconsequential projects or simply lost to graft and corruption.
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The reported decision of some private hospitals to cut any link they have with PhilHealth that has yet to reimburse their expenses already running to millions of pesos for treating PhilHealth members will be a big blow to the ordinary people. It means, the patients will have to start paying hospitals with cash since they (hospitals) have decided to stop billing PhilHealth. The hospitals have lost their trust in PhilHealth’s system.
If patients are not able to pay their bills, the hospitals will be compelled to detain them till their relatives come out with the full payment of their bills. But you and I know that this is illegal but no one can fault the hospitals if they resort to this extreme measure since they have to earn in order to survive the challenges of the times.
As of now, we have yet to hear a private hospital in Dagupan and Pangasinan planning to burn the bridges behind them that linked them to PhilHealth, unlike what their counterparts in other parts of the country did.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
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