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Pharmacies in Bicol honor DSWD guarantee letters in med purchases

By Connie Calipay

DIFFERENT pharmacies in the Bicol region began accepting guarantee letters from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as payment for medicines starting this Monday, according to a statement from a DSWD-5 official.

Jastine Joy Dichoso Escuro, the DSWD-Bicol Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program focal person, mentioned that this initiative became possible after DSWD-5 officials and partner pharmaceutical firms in the region signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Feb. 8 for medical assistance under the AICS.

"Instead of providing outright cash, we will issue guarantee letters ranging from PHP1,000 to PHP10,000 to individuals seeking medical assistance in our office. This way, the funds designated for medicines are specifically used for that purpose," she explained.

At least 13 pharmacies in the region, along with their branches and franchises, are participating to expand the range of services offered under the program.

DSWD-Bicol Regional Director Norman Laurio stated that this initiative is in response to the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to ensure the targeted use of assistance provided to clients.

“With the increasing demand for social services, the agency, through its AICS, is collaborating with these pharmacies to enhance the provision of medical assistance to clients in need and to ensure that the aid is utilized for its intended purpose,” he said.

Laurio emphasized that the guarantee letter serves as a reliable mechanism to prevent system losses.

“Assisting the vulnerable cannot be solely carried out by the government; thus, we appreciate our partner pharmacies for accepting the challenge to collaborate with us in improving services for the Bicolanos in crisis,” he added.

The department also assured the public of the availability of funds for services provided to beneficiaries. The AICS is one of DSWD's social welfare services, offering medical, burial, transportation, education, food, or financial assistance for individuals or families in crisis.


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