P4M aid to give indigent patients in Bantayan town free boat ride to mainland Cebu hospitals

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo January 10,2019 - 01:37 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Sick indigent patients in Bantayan town in northern Cebu, who would need to be transported by ambulance from the district hospital to a provincial hospital on mainland Cebu, would not have to worry anymore about their boat fare and even some of their medical expenses.

According to the Bantayan Municipal government on their official Facebook page that they would shoulder the boat fare and provide these indigent patients with medical assistance.

A move made possible by the downloading of P4 million from Congressman Benhur Salimbangon of Cebu’s 4th district to the treasury of Bantayan town, one of the three municipalities on Bantayan Island, and another P2 million for the purchase of another ambulance.

“The Municipality of Bantayan under the leadership of Mayor Ian Christopher G. Escario in partnership with Congressman Benhur Salimbangon will now shoulder the fare (ferry expenses) of the municipal ambulances ferrying indigent patients from Bantayan to Cebu and vice versa,” the post read.

Escario, for his part, told CDN Digital in an interview that while usage of the town’s ambulance was free, the patients would still have another burden to shoulder — the boat fare for the ambulance, the driver, the nurse, the patient and the companion of the patient which would range from P2,500 to P3,000.

Escario said with this in mind, he made a proposal to Congressman Salimbangon (Cebu 4th district), who in turn downloaded P4 million for the boat fare and medical assistance and another P2 million for the purchase of an additional ambulance.

“Last December, nihangyo ta og additional ambulance ug funding. Kanang sa funding nga iyang gihatag, diha nato kuhaon ang budget para sa bayad sa ‘roro’ [ships] ug ubanan na og financial assistance until mahurot ang pondo,” said Escario.

“Dili na siya forever pero at least, kung makahimo lang ta og proposal, matagaan man gyud ta,” he said referring to the fund provided by Salimbangon and the mayor’s efforts to get the funds for the program for ailing indigent patients of the town.

The mayor said the P4 million cash aid could make up to 1000 round trips which might last throughout the year.

Escario said the service would be for all residents of Bantayan town, who are indigents, and for all emergency situations.

He added that they were also expecting the additional ambulance to arrive in the town within February or March./dbs

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TAGS: aid, ambulance, Bantayan, boat, Escario, fare, free, indigent, P4 million, patients, Salimbangon, sick

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