Anakalusugan AnaKalusugan Party-list nominees and 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK) show their hands “5 1”, to signify the number 51, as the party number after the group signed an alliance pushing wider health protection for eligible public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers nationwide held in Makati City last Feb. 15. Photo shows from left to right (seated) AnaKalusugan Party-list nominee Ray Roquero, 1-UTAK chairman Vigor Mendoza II, Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas, AnaKalusugan Party-list nominess Atty. Regina Reyes Mandanas and Ray Florence Reyes.

AnaKalusugan, 1-UTAK forge alliance for PUV drivers’ benefits

February 16, 2022 People's Tonight 680 views

HEALTHCARE advocate AnaKalusugan party-list and 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK) on Tuesday signed a strategic alliance accord to push for wider health protection for eligible public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers nationwide.

“Our public transport drivers are frontliners, too. They are exposed both to COVID-19 as well as common health dangers as part of their everyday essential work,” AnaKalusugan nominee Ray Reyes said.

1-UTAK Chairman Vigor Mendoza II said the transport group has seen the commitment of AnaKalusugan in pushing for key legislative measures that promote and protect the health of Filipinos.

“AnaKalusugan has been at the forefront of efforts to fight for free medical checkups, removal of VAT on maintenance medicines, and regularization and wider benefits of health workers, including our barangay health workers who are our first responders at the community level,” Mendoza said.

“For the transport sector, we believe AnaKalusugan is our best partner in Congress to push for wider benefits for our PUV drivers,” Mendoza added.

AnaKalusugan nominee Ray Roquero said as part of its advocacy to extend healthcare to all, the party-list will be extending its membership cards to bona fide members of 1-UTAK.

The cards have the following benefits for PUV drivers: free teleconsultation, priority in case AnaKalusugan mobile clinics visit their respective areas, and priority in case there will be a Kalusugan Kard implemented in their cities or provinces.

PUV drivers who have to deal with heavy traffic, pollution, and changing weather almost every day, AnaKalusugan nominee Gina Mandanas said, are most vulnerable to chronic health conditions such as hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes, muscular-skeletal problems, among others.

“These medical conditions do not only impair the driving ability of drivers but also impact on their health and well-being. And with the pandemic putting a dent on their income and amid the consecutive increases in pump prices, our PUV drivers can ill-afford to get sick, much less go to a hospital,” Mandanas said.

In the province of Batangas, where the Kalusugan Health Kard was first implemented, patients can already avail of free medical services in any government hospitals within the province and other accredited health facilities. The medical services include the professional fees of doctors, laboratory fees, and the use of hospital rooms and other medical facilities, among others.

In the past three years in Congress, AnaKalusugan party-list has principally authored 15 measures increasing the capacity and upgrading hospitals across the country, 10 measures to improve the welfare of medical and health workers, 16 measures to boost health services across the country, and 16 measures to beef up the country’s pandemic response.