ONA chief to Amos Rivera: ‘Don’t drag ONA’s name into dirty politicking’

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ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – Dr. Froilan Canlas, Hospital Chief of Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (RLMMC) – more commonly referred to as Ospital Ning Angeles (ONA) – hit back at the camp of mayoralty candidate and incumbent City Councilor Amos Rivera for maligning the hospital’s name in support of his political agenda and team, Bayung Angeles.

“The hospital – the entire health sector – has been battered enough during this pandemic,” said Canlas, “We don’t need to be dragged into dirty politicking. Wag niyo pong yurakan ang pangalan ng Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center, formerly ONA.”

Canlas is referring to a social media post that has been circulating on social media, posted by user ‘Marcus Ayala’, refuting the claims that ONA is providing free medical services.

Ayala tagged several social media accounts in the post, including that of Councilor Rivera and other candidates of Bayung Angeles.

“Currently, there are eleven different agencies that ONA is in partnership with to provide free medical services for Angeleños,” Canlas said, “All these agencies are housed in the same office inside the hospital so patients needing financial assistance could easily access them.”

“For example, if a patient has a bill of P50,000, part of the bill will be deducted through PhilHealth,” explained Canlas, “After that deduction, what remains of the bill will further be reduced through the other agencies.”

“Understandably, no single agency could cover the entirety of the bill, however, what we do is obtain assistance from all the agencies we are in partnership with so that the accumulated funds can reduce the patient’s bill,” he added.

According to Canlas, among these offices are the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Patrol Partylist, and the Office of Pampanga First District Representative Carmelo “Jon” Lazatin II.

“I also said this during the groundbreaking for the annex building of ONA, access to health care is a basic human right, and if one cannot afford, the state should provide,” said Canlas.

“Kami po sa ONA, even amid this pandemic, we do everything that we can to make quality medical services accessible for all Angeleños. Panawagan ko lang po ay sana wag na kaming idamay sa maruming pamumulitika para sa kung sino mang kandidato,” Canlas added.

In a social media post published on March 25, Councilor Rivera claimed that Bayung Angeles will not resort to fake news and black propaganda in their campaign.