Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III wants the inclusion of farmer-beneficiaries as recipients of the Department of Health’s (DOH) medical assistance for indigent patients program in 2023.
He appealed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to consider the plight of the agrarian reform beneficiaries belonging to the marginalized sector of society.
MAIP is a DOH program providing medical assistance for poor patients seeking consultation, rehabilitation, examination or confinement in government hospitals. According to the Department of Agrarian Reform chief, the effort is part of his nine-point priority areas in response to the call of Mr. Marcos to continue the agrarian reform program and focus on the needs of the farmers nationwide.
“Aside from providing solutions to the problems in the security of land tenure, agrarian justice delivery, and provision of support services, we are also taking into consideration the other burdens being carried out by the agrarian reform beneficiaries,” he said.
DAR also needs to address the medical concerns of the beneficiaries since most of them belong to the marginalized sector, he cited.
“Farmers usually resort to borrowing money each time one of their family members got sick. Comprehensive support from the DAR and other national agencies is required to ease this kind of burdens that the farmers are carrying,” he said.
He said he has already proposed in one of the Cabinet meetings with the President to include in the DOH coverage the farmers as recipients of the MAIP and assured them that they would be included in the program by 2023.