Sulong Sarangan: Caring for its people

07 Apr 2016
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ALABEL, Sarangani (April 7, 2016) - Aside from infrastructure development, the provincial local government unit (PLGU) of Sarangani has invested as well on the people’s welfare to afford comfort especially to poor Sarangan families.

From the time Steve Chiongbian Solon became governor in 2013, around P8 million was already extended to some 1,799 indigents to settle hospital bills, funeral services, counseling and referral services and other financial assistance thru the Aid to Individual in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.

The provincial government has institutionalized AICS as a specialized and functional safety net for the protection and rehabilitation of distressed and disadvantaged individuals and families in Sarangani.

AICS officer in-charge Amethyst Mangindra reported the PLGU also allocated approximately P1.8 million for the 313 clients catered to during the first quarter this year.

She said though AICS is just an augmentation to the assistance provided by its seven municipal LGUs, this has been very beneficial in “helping families financially particularly those in crisis and emergency situation.”

Assistance given ranges from P5,000 to P10,000 but Mangindra clarified AICS could not be granted together with the Hospital Assistance Program (HAP) - another hospitalization aid Sarangani PLGU is granting to its poor constituents.

Records show that the provincial government paid a total of P55.5 million for the treatment of 6,154 indigent patients in General Santos City private hospitals that Sarangani has partnered with from 2013-2015 thru HAP.

The provincial and municipal LGUs follow a 70%-30% counterparting scheme to cover the total hospital bill of each patient.

Solon said interventions like these are also good avenue “of helping (our) people become socially stable. We leave no Sarangan behind as we invest more in our constituents.”

Sulong Sarangan, the family enhancement and community pillar of Sulong Sarangani Program, was also institutionalized to intensify convergence of various related activities towards empowering Sarangans.

Aside from the financial aids, the program also covers Gender and Development activities. The PLGU has established a livelihood skills and training center amounting to P821,794.42 as venue to train Sarangan women on various skills for employment or to start a business.

Thru Sulong Sarangani, interventions against human trafficking and violence against women and children have also been intensified, while support to out-of-school youth and senior citizens towards positive and productive developmental activities have also been strengthened.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, the office overseeing operations of Sulong Sarangan, has been reaching out to victims of calamities in the province for debriefing sessions to make them socially functional members of the community. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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