Seek WB funding for Malasakit Centers — lawmaker
Seek WB funding for Malasakit Centers — lawmaker
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - November 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines — A Mindanao lawmaker yesterday urged the government to seek World Bank (WB) funding for the Malasakit financial assistance program for indigent patients.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said WB has extended cheap loans for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, which gives out cash subsidies of up to P1,500 a month to millions of poor households.

He believes the WB would consider a request for similar support for the Malasakit initiative, since its beneficiaries are also the poor and “is the first of its kind in the world.”

The conditional cash transfer project started in Mexico but was undertaken in a wider scale in Brazil. Ours is 4Ps. The Malasakit program is geared toward making health services affordable and accessible to the poor. It has no parallel in other countries,” Rodriguez said.

The bill institutionalizing Malasakit will soon become a law after the House of Representatives approved it on second reading on Wednesday night. The Malasakit project was an election campaign advocacy of Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, President Duterte’s concurrent special assistant.

The House initially tackled its version of the proposed Malasakit law endorsed by its committee on health chaired by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, but later opted to adopt the bill authored by Go and which the Senate has passed on third and final reading.

Go is Tan’s counterpart in the Senate.

The decision of the House to adopt the Go bill will hasten its enactment, since there would be no need for a bicameral reconciliation conference when congressmen approve it on third and final reading possibly next week. The measure will be sent directly to the President for signing into law.

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