DSWD expands medical assistance for Filipinos; safeguards taxpayers' money with guarantee letter system

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with a new group of medical and pharmaceutical firms to expand medical assistance for Filipinos in need.

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Photo courtesy of DSWD

In a statement issued Sunday, Nov. 12, the DSWD said through these partnerships, the department will issue guarantee letters (GLs) to service providers.

These letters will help ensure that government assistance goes directly to Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) clients for the intended purpose.

"When you say it is for medicine, it is intended for medicine. When you say it's for the hearing aid, it's for the hearing aid," DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said during the MOA signing on Nov. 11.

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DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian / Photo courtesy of DSWD

The department also underscored that the partnerships aim to safeguard taxpayers' funds through the AICS program and described the GLs as a "foolproof mechanism" to prevent financial loss.

"Because it's a guarantee letter, the people's money is safeguarded. Because when they come to us and say it's medicine, instead of giving cash, we write a guarantee letter,” he explained.

"They have no choice but to buy medicine. That is the beauty of the guarantee letter,” Gatchalian added.

The DSWD has partnered with 25 new hospitals, medical centers, and pharmaceutical firms to expand its services and benefits under the AICS program.

DSWD Undersecretary for Operations Group Monina Josefina Romualdez, for her part, said that the department is committed to providing the best possible care for Filipinos in need.

She mentioned that in 2022, DSWD provided financial assistance amounting to over P651 million in the form of GLs to augment the cost of hospitalizations, medicines, and assistive devices for beneficiaries.

"The issuance of GL means the delivery of the needed assistance through the presence of partners or the service providers," Romualdez added.