DAR: ARBs included in government medical assistance

DAR: ARBs included in government medical assistance

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) requested that the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) be included in the government’s medical assistance program.

DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III asserted that aside from the agrarian reform program for farmers, the department is also looking at the needs of farmers nationwide, which are included in the nine-point priority areas of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

According to Estrella, he suggested to President Marcos in one of the cabinet meetings the possibility of including ARBs in the scope of the Department of Health (DOH) as recipients of the Medical Assistance for Indigent Patient (MAIP) program.

The DAR said the MAIP is an ongoing program of the DOH that aims to provide medical assistance for patients seeking consultation, rehabilitation, examination, or those confined to government hospitals.

“Besides providing solutions to land tenure security problems, providing agrarian justice and providing support services, we are also considering other burdens that ARBs will carry,” according to Estrella .

Estrella said the DAR is looking at more comprehensive support for farmers, ARBs, and agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs), in collaboration with other national agencies, to at least help reduce the burdens on farmers’ shoulders.

He said, most of the ARBs belong to the marginalized sector of the society and the DAR thinks it is appropriate to help them address their medical concerns.

“Farmers usually take out loans whenever one of their family members gets sick. Comprehensive support from the DAR and other national agencies is necessary to ease these types of burdens borne by farmers,” Estrella added. Santi Celario

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