LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – More than forty million pesos was made available in the national budget to fund the enhanced delivery of basic services to the people of Benguet and the grant of scholarships to thousands of qualified youth in the province’s one hundred forty barangays.
Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan said P15 million from the said amount is now being used to fund the scholarship needs of some 1,400 students while the remaining P25 million is being used by patients needing medical assistance from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) and the Quezon City-based Philippine Heart Center.
Under Cosalan’s scholarship program, each student will be granted a financial assistance of P10,000 annually during the duration of enrolment provided that he or she must have passing grades.
Further, there should be 10 scholars from each of the province’s 140 barangays while big barangays are allowed to have more scholars to avail of the said program.
“Our students are guaranteed their financial assistance up to next year and we will include in next year’s budget the required funds to allow them to continue pursuing a higher level of education,” Cosalan stressed.
In terms of health services, the three-term lawmaker revealed he lodged with the BGMC and BeGH 10 million pesos each to meet the financial needs of patients seeking medical attention from the said government health facilities while another P5 million was lodged with the Philippine Heart Center purposely for those having financial problems in seeking medical attention from the said hospital.
However, he explained most of those availing the financial assistance from BGHMC and BeGH are dialysis patients undergoing the sensitive dialysis treatment while those availing the financial assistance from the Philippine Heart Center are those with heart problems which entail huge expenses because of the sensitive and state-of-the-art procedures.
He explained that he will make representations with health authorities and health insurance agencies to increase the allocations for Benguet in terms of financial assistance so that more patients will benefit.
According to him, the frequency of the dialysis sessions for kidney patients has been reduced by his office so that more patients will benefit from the limited funds earmarked for the purpose although they will still be allowed to request if there are still available funds.
Cosalan expressed concern over the increasing number of individuals undergoing dialysis treatment from the different government and private health facilities, citing the urgent concern for local residents to look into their lifestyle to prevent them from contracting kidney problems that might force them to undergo the expensive treatment.