The Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte invited officials from the regional offices of the Department of Health, Philhealth, and the Department of Public Works and Highways to join the 13th Provincial Development Council to discuss with the august body particularly on concerns regarding the Universal Health Care and the updates on the Panguil Bay Bridge Project.

After the reading and approval of the December 13, 2019, Minutes of the Meeting, the Confirmation Resolutions of PDC-Executive Committee Meeting last February 20, and the presentations of the 2020 Supplemental Annual Investment Plan and the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan for 2019-2022 by focal persons from the Office of the Provincial Planning and Development headed by Engr. Anecita R. LEndio, Dr. Josephine Ibalio, the UHC Coordinator for Northern Mindanao, and on behalf of DOH Regional Director, Adriano P. Suba-an, discussed the salient points on health service delivery, integration of the local health systems and implementation arrangement as well as the structure of the UHC program, touching the important roles of the Local Chief Executive for a successful pilot implementation of the said program in their respective municipalities and eventually in the entire province.

Dr. Suba-an said that in region 10 there are three (3) integration sites, namely Misamis Oriental, the highly urbanized city of Cagayan de Oro and Lanao del Norte. The Orientation Seminar that was conducted last February 6 in the province will be replicated in Misamis Oriental where the private health care providers and the Municipal Health Offices participated during the first engagement with the regional technical assistant team. And suggested to the honorable members of the Provincial Development Council to sit and agree amongst each other to discuss the actions need to be done for the refinement of the local investment plan for health in the province and make it congruent and align with the UHC, for now, Lanao del Norte is no longer an ordinary province but an integration site that is expected to deliver a model that may be replicated by the rest of the provinces not only in region 10 but by all provinces in the country.

Furthermore, the DOH Regional Director said that in Lanao del Norte he sees the enthusiasm that inspires them to provide necessary technical assistance to the local government units led by Provincial Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo in better understanding of their role as Local Chief Executives by actively coordinating with regional offices of the Department of Health and Philhealth.

Meanwhile, Dr. Francis Ramos from the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Section of Philhealth Region 10, presented to the body the major concepts particularly in financing, service coverage of the corporation, new information of the new health care provider network, contracting, transition to UHC, and the projected UHC timeline, as well as the Philhealth Circular 2020-0002, “Governing Policies of the Philhealth Konsultasyong Sulit at Tama Package: Expansion of the Primary Care Benefit to cover all Filipinos.”

Dr. Ramos said their office released Circular granting eligibility to all Filipinos even if not yet a member of Philhealth can avail health services in all hospitals provided that after the person will do the paperwork if there are some inconsistencies with the premium.

This means that if the patient is already confined but not a member, he is still eligible but need to work with the necessary papers to be a member, and will be assessed if financially capable or incapable to pay the premium before discharge from the hospital. And for those financially capable they are required to pay the premium but for those who are not there will be provision to help and support the person.

And the last agenda of the day was the giving of updates on the Panguil Bay Bridge Project by Engr. Sabeniano D. Caliao, Jr, Officer-in-Charge of Planning Design Division of the Department of Public Works and Highways Region 10.

Aside from the laying of the foundations of the bridge, Engr. Caliao Jr, presented the perspective view of the rotunda that will be constructed in Linamon-Zamboanga National Highway, fronting Gaisano Mall Tubod to help ease the flow vehicular traffic traversing the National Highway and coming-in and out of the Panguil Bay Bridge.

A proposed road was also presented connecting from rotunda towards Tubod-Ganassi Road and will be discussed further by the Council with the two District Congressmen, 1st District Representative, Congressman Mohamad Khalid Quibranza Dimaporo, and the Father of Peace and Development, 2nd District Representative, Congressman Abdullah ‘Bobby’ Dimakuta Dimaporo to ensure smooth implementation of the said road.

Governor Angging was happy that soon, the Panguil Bay Bridge will be realized after 30 years of dreaming, and sincerely thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in realizing the dream of his father, the late former Governor Arsenio A. Quibranza.

Before adjourning the meeting, Governor Angging expressed her gratitude to Regional Director Adriano Subaan and the DOH 10 family as well as to Dr. Francis Ramos and Philhealth 10 family for actively giving assistance to the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte in preparation for a successful implementation of UHC, and to the DPWH for providing updates on the Panguil Bay Bridge Project.

The Provincial Chief Executive appealed to members of PDC to continue working together as one unit in sustaining unity in the province to achieve lasting peace and development.

The 13th PDC Meeting was held at Riana’s Canteen II, Mindanao Civic Center Sports Complex, Sagadan, Tubod, on March 4, 2020. PIO-LDN