BAGUIO CITY – Their own life’s miseries notwithstanding, inmates now called persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the Baguio City Jail do not let their confinement deter them from reaching out to the needy or support worthy causes.
Their latest cause – support the signature campaign to rally the public in urging the government to provide free dialysis treatment for all kidney patients undergoing the blood-cleansing procedure.
A total of 594 PDLs signed last week the petition along with the 88 personnel of the male and female dorms led by wardens Elvis Luis Danglose and April Rose Ayangwa respectively.
Like the numerous others who supported the campaign, the PDLs felt for the dialysis patients in their struggle to stay alive amid the financial strain of sustaining the lifetime treatment.
“I signed the campaign because I want to help those people to lessen their financial problems. May health problem na nga, dadagdag pa yung pag-iisip nila kung saan sila kukuha ng perang gagastusin,” Freda noted.
“Pumirma po ako sapagkat alam ko po na ang pagdadialysis ay isang magastos na proseso. Paano na lang po ang mga mahihirap na may ganitong karamdaman?,” Michelle asked.
The inmates were convinced that their signature could make a difference in the lives of the patients.
Carmina said, “Naniniwala ako na sa pamamagitan ng campaign na ito, matutulungan naming lahat ng mga dialysis patients.”
“Pumirma ako sa kagustuhan kong maipadama sa mga taong nangangailangan ng tulong na hindi sila nag-iisa sa pakikibaka sa kanilang buhay,” Joanne offered.
“Gusto kong maging kaisa sa paghikayat sa gobyerno na magkaroon ng libreng dialysis para sa mga taong may malubhang sakit,” Lelibeth said.
Jam said she wanted to be an instrument to convey the plight of the patients to the government.
“Lalo na yung may mga talent na pwede pang makapagturo o ibahagi pa sa iba ang angking kaalaman,” she said.
Jam was one of the participants in the free journalism training and workshop conducted by the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club at the city jail last Tuesday which BCBC president Ramon Dacawi, a dialysis patient, facilitated along with newshen and Alternative Learning System volunteer Nonette Bennett.
As a newsman and city government information officer, Dacawi had spearheaded various reformatory programs at the city jail for years making him practically the inmates’ benefactor.
He had also inspired the inmates to do humanitarian acts through his writings of patients’ appeal for help which drove the jailbirds on several occasions to pass the hat and help pool funds for patients with various illnesses.
Now it was time for their benefactor to wear the other shoe.
The inmates at the close of the journalism training announced that Dacawi will be among the beneficiaries in their dinner for-a-cause, yet another humanitarian project of the PDLs, which they will mount soon.
But more importantly, Dacawi will be among the thousands who will benefit should the signatures of the inmates and of countless others who joined the petition be counted and the clamor to make dialysis totally free in the country become a reality.
The BCBC and the Philippine Information Agency Cordillera headed by regional director Helen Tibaldo continued to appeal to government officials in the provincial, city, municipal and barangay levels in the region and in other parts of the country to support the campaign by approving resolutions requesting the Office of the President, the Senate and House of Representatives, the Department of Health, Philhealth and other national government agencies to come up with a unified Free Dialysis Health Program for the whole country.
They may base their measures on the BCBC resolution that can be downloaded from the petition posted at the said website (www.change.org and search for free dialysis petition; or through the following link: www.change.org/p/urge-president-rodrigo-roa-duterte-make-dialysis-treatment-free-for-all-filipinos) where people here and abroad can also register their support.
Meanwhile, sign-up sites for the campaign are at the city public information office and city councilors’ offices at the Baguio City Hall, PIA-CAR in front of the Mansion, Luisa’s Café along Session Road and the Baguio General Hospital dialysis section and Bookends along Calderon St. /Aileen P. Refuerzo#